Permit us to introduce you, U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, to the third branch of the federal government. It’s known as the judiciary.

We presume you’re well aware of the other branches — the legislative, where you represent the state of Indiana, and the executive, where President Donald Trump is struggling desperately to remain ensconced in the White House.

Here’s where the third branch is pretty important, Sen. Braun. Any challenge to the integrity of the Nov. 3 presidential election can be lodged in the appropriate court.

And that’s precisely what President Trump has been doing. His campaign and supporters have filed dozens of complaints in various states contesting the outcome of the election, which was won by Democratic challenger Joe Biden by an electoral vote of 306-232 and by more than 7 million popular votes.

Please note, Sen. Braun, that nearly every Trump claim has been denied, dismissed or withdrawn. The courts have found no evidence of the widespread election fraud that Trump and his supporters claim.

Based on your comments in a recent op-ed published in the Washington Examiner and in an interview on ABC News, senator, it appears you are unaware that the courts have been ruling on Trump contentions, no matter how outlandish.

By ignoring the rulings of the courts, Sen. Braun, and failing to publicly acknowledge that Biden won the election, you’re contributing to the contrived and dangerous idea that the 2020 presidential election wasn’t secure and that the results can’t be trusted.

Unfortunately, you’re not alone among Indiana Republican leaders in your unrealistic view of what the courts can and can’t do to help Trump deny the will of the American voter. State Attorney General Curtis Hill and attorney general-elect Todd Rokita have joined Republican counterparts from 16 other states in calling upon the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas.

The suit alleges unconstitutional election practices in four battleground states where Biden defeated Trump. Texas, of course, has no standing to challenge election results in other states. The suit is nothing more than a last-ditch publicity stunt.

While Indiana Republicans seem intent on supporting any Trump measure, no matter how ludicrous, to overturn the election, some in the party are calling off the charade.

Even U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who has routinely twisted the law to benefit President Trump, has acknowledged that there’s no evidence of widespread election fraud.

It’s high time you do, as well, Sen. Braun. Otherwise, you insinuate that neither U.S. elections nor our country’s courts can be trusted.

The Herald Bulletin, Anderson

- The Herald Bulletin, Anderson

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