Support from U.S. Rep. Ben Cline for a lawsuit to bar Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden has drawn support and opposition in the Valley.

Texas v. Pennsylvania, et al., was filed to block Electoral College votes from Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin to be lodged for the Democrat in the 2020 presidential election.

Without the Electoral College votes from those states, President Donald Trump would have more Electoral College votes, granting him reelection over Biden.

Over half of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, 126 of 196, signed on to an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit.

Among those was Cline, R-Botetourt, who represents Virginia’s 6th Congressional District, which includes Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the lawsuit.

“Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections,” the court document from Friday said.

Six of the nine members of the Supreme Court were nominated by Republican presidents — three by Trump.

Cline’s support for the failed lawsuit is to some an affront to democracy, and to others, a justified measure to ensure faith in democracy.

And area leaders of both parties insist their feelings are nonpartisan.

“This is going to sound weird coming from a Republican chairman,” said John Massoud, chairman of the 6th Congressional District Virginia GOP. “There’s a bigger thing here than R versus D — the integrity of the election.”

“This is bigger than parties,” said Alleyn Harned, chair of the Harrisonburg Democratic Committee.

Yet their opinions on Cline’s support for the lawsuit were split and their reasoning different.

Harned said the Trump campaign and other prominent Republicans sowed distrust in the election from the outset with their rhetoric about ballots such as mail-in options.

“It’s extremely damaging to our democracy to campaign against the electoral process, and that’s what this is,” he said of the Texas lawsuit.

Massoud said concerns about election integrity stemmed not from Republicans talking about potential issues before the election, but from events on Election Day itself.

“Here, you have a very large group of people who I’m afraid are losing faith in the integrity of our voting system and that is the really scary thing, because if they don’t have faith in that, you never know what people are going to do,” Massoud said.

Cline declined to discuss his support for the lawsuit, but stood by several posts on his political candidate Facebook page.

On Saturday, the page posted, “Seeking relief from the courts to show evidence of voter fraud is not ‘trying to overturn an election.’” The post later referenced the impeachment of Trump as an act of actually trying to overturn an election.

A Cline post from Thursday said, “I will vigorously defend the right of every American, including the President, to have their day in court. Just as Al Gore and George W. Bush sought redress from the Supreme Court in December of 2000, President Trump should be able to do so today.”

Both Harned and Massoud agreed that objective reviews of election processes are warranted to strive for a better system and yet again, their perspectives differed on how to do so.

“We’re not even talking about ‘change the outcome’ here,” Massoud said. “Everybody has to have faith in the process and right now, very few people I know have faith in the process.”

He said a state review should include results from November’s election as well as how to reduce issues around vote counting and ballot access for future elections.

“We need to do an audit of the entire election system just to find out what was right and what went wrong,” Massoud said.

Harned said a lawsuit such as the one from Texas is not an appropriate way to bring about potential reform because the lawsuit did not have evidence to back it up.

“There’s a reason the Supreme Court denied it,” he said.

Harned said he is not concerned about lawsuits, but about misinformation stemming from the possible court action of accepting a such a highly politicized case without sufficient proof.

“It is still a formal coup on paper,” he said.

Cline’s support for the suit calls into question the congressman’s response to future challenges, according to Harned.

“If he signed up up for this, what’s the next thing he’s going to sign up for?” Harned said.

Contact Ian Munro at 574-6278 or Follow Ian on Twitter @iamIanMunro

(8) comments

Pat Riot

I appreciated the article on Ben Clines subversion of the US Constitution, but here is what your readers really should focus on - the seditious conduct engaged in by purported "congressman" Ben Cline that claims to represent us. Cline is one of the 126 republican seditionists that backed Texas' assault on our Constitution and should resign. If not, Congressional representatives, whether Democrat or Republican, should refuse to seat these seditionists. Griffith and his co-conspirators cannot be trusted to fulfil their oath to protect the Constitution of the United States. In fact, Cline and the lot embraced a principle that would destroy the United States as a country. If they prevailed, Texas or any state could claim it has a right to throw out millions of American votes because citizens of another state voted for a different presidential candidate.

But if you can't get you head around the damage to the Constitution or the republic, think about what Cline's support to this frivolous lawsuit means to Virginia. It is a direct assault of the sovereignty of Virginia who he claims to represent. By signing onto the Texas lawsuit, Virginia representatives Ben Kline, Morgan Griffith, and Rob Wittman are endorsing the principle that millions of Virginians' votes in a presidential election could be thrown out and not counted if another state objects to the outcome of Virginia's election.

This is an amazing betrayal of the rights of Virginians guaranteed by the state and federal Constitution. Can you trust an official to act in Virginia's interest who supports the idea that Virginians' right to vote be subject to the whims of a tyrant representing another state like the indicted Texas Attorney General.

Cline, Griffith and Wittman are telling Virginians in essence that they will not defend the US constitution, the State's constitution, or representative democracy. Of course, they did not say that they would attempt to subvert the Constitution when they were running for re-election because they would have been tossed out, but now we know the truth about how little regard that have for states rights.

It is a sad day in the Commonwealth when members of its Congressional delegation are so eager to give up the rights of Virginia voters to another state. These usurpers should admit that they are not worthy of the title republican, but are anti- American. We should not let them to continue to represent this state, a state by the way that championed its rights from the minute Madison walked into the Constitutional Convention. Jefferson, Washington and Madison would be appalled and so should we.

God bless our state and protect us from the likes of unprincipled charlatans who lack the courage to stand up for Virginia!


Now that Putin has officically congratulated Mr. Biden for winning the presidential election, Republicans now have permission to do the same.


He's still just the Fraudulent Elect until January 20th - just sayin'...


Ben Cline knew this lawsuit would go nowhere with the Supreme Court. Yet he signed on simply to prove his loyalty to Donald J. Trump and secure the future support of Trump's dwindling base. In doing so, he abandoned his oath to the Constitution and formally pledged his allegiance to Mr. Trump. Therefore, he should resign his position in Congress. He no longer represents all of the citizens of his district.


"We conclude that the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results. The system intentionally generates an enormously high number of ballot errors. The electronic ballots are then transferred for adjudication."

I'll just leave this here...

Neal Frankel

"Dominion Voting Systems has been the target of a continuing malicious and widespread disinformation campaign aimed at eroding confidence in the integrity of the 2020 presidential election. Additional fabrications focused on our role in Antrim County, Michigan have been spread in the media over the last few days. In light of these new false claims, which have been presented without a shred of evidence, we wanted to share a few key facts:"

"There were no software "glitches" that "switched" votes in Antrim County or anywhere else. The errors identified in Antrim County were isolated human errors not involving Dominion."

"Antrim County (and all of Michigan) has a paper ballot record for every vote cast on a Dominion machine."

"Voters make, review, and cast their paper ballots. These paper ballots are in full custody of the election officials of each county. The proof of the accuracy of tabulation machines can be verified by hand counts and audits."


Thank you, Rep. Cline, for representing the majority of your constituency in this matter. Without free and fair elections, we fail to have a republic. Thank you for doing the right thing.


Indeed! Thank you for standing for election integrity Ben. I'm glad that I voted for you.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.