FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers an address from the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
(Reuters) – A federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump’s campaign that sought to throw out millions of mail-in votes in Pennsylvania, dealing a major blow to Trump’s flailing efforts to overturn his Nov. 3 election loss to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, described the case as “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations.”
Brann added that he “has no authority to take away the right to vote of even a single person, let alone millions of citizens.”
Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuit, filed on Nov. 9, had alleged inconsistent treatment by county election officials of mail-in ballots. Some counties notified voters that they could fix minor defects such as missing “secrecy envelopes” while others did not.
The lawsuit had also initially alleged Republican observers were denied access to the counting of mail-in ballots, an assertion election officials dispute. The campaign on Nov. 15 dropped claims relating to those allegations, but later asked to add them.
Brann had expressed skepticism of the lawsuit at a hearing on Tuesday.
Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Additional reporting by Raphael Satter and Aram Roston; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Dan Grebler