Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) filed a motion Thursday to dismiss Democrat Rita Hart’s challenge to the Iowa Second Congressional District election results.
After Iowa state officials certified that Miller-Meeks won Iowa’s Second Congressional District by six votes, Hart bypassed the Iowa court system by challenging the results at the House Administration Committee. The committee will review the election contest and Miller-Meeks’ motion to dismiss.
Alan Ostergren, an attorney for Miller-Meeks, said in a statement Thursday that Hart moved to challenge the Iowa election results by petitioning a Democrat-controlled committee.
“Long-standing precedent of the House of Representatives requires losing candidates to go through the state courts first before filing an election contest in the House. Rita Hart should have raised her claims before a neutral panel of Iowa judges rather than before a political process controlled by her own party,” said Ostergren.
Miller-Meeks’ motion to dismiss argues that House precedents require that losing candidates must exhaust every mean possible under state law before contesting the election in the House.
“There is not a single example in which Congress has excused the exhaustion of remedies in an election contest. Congresswoman Miller-Meeks was prepared to go before Iowa judges to explain why the issues raised by Hart lack merit and, considered together, would not have changed the result of this election under Iowa law,” Ostergren. added. “This would have been a process supervised by neutral Iowa judges and that would have been open, fair, and based on the legal process established by Iowans 50 years ago.”
“Rita Hart was clearly afraid of this process. Her actions show that she knew her weak case would never have persuaded judges. She chose politics over law. She was wrong to do so and did a disservice to every Iowan who voted in this election. The House of Representatives should follow their own precedents and dismiss her contest,” Ostergren said.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) also noted that Hart skipped the Iowa court system to challenge the election results in the House:
Iowans elect who represents them. Not partisans out of Washington, DC.
— Grassley Works (@GrassleyWorks) January 21, 2021
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.