An Alabama judge denied a request on Thursday from defeated GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore to prevent the state from certifying his opponent's victory in a special election earlier this month.
The decision by Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Johnny Hardwick came a day after Moore filed a lawsuit in which he urged Alabama to conduct a voter fraud investigation before formally recognizing Democrat Doug Jones as its new senator.
Jones delivered a shocking upset in the Dec. 12 election, beating Moore by more than 20,000 votes and becoming the first Democrat to win an Alabama Senate seat in more than two decades.
"Doug Jones will be certified today at 2 p.m. eastern time..." Secretary of State John Merrill told CNN Thursday morning, hours before Hardwick rejected Moore's request.
"The court is of the opinion that it does not have jurisdiction" over the matter, Hardwick wrote in a filing Thursday afternoon. "It is therefore, ordered, adjudged and decreed that the motion for Temporary Restraining Order be and is hereby denied."
Moore's attorney argued in a statement accompanying the lawsuit that the former state supreme court justice would suffer "irreparable harm" and be "denied his full right as a candidate to a fair election" if Alabama certified the election results Thursday.
The legal complaint also contended that Moore "successfully completed" a polygraph test after facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. The results confirmed that "the representations of misconduct made against him during the campaign are completely false," Moore's campaign said.
Jones is slated to be sworn into the U.S. Senate on Jan. 3, when the upper chamber returns from its holiday break.