The Supreme Court this afternoon (Dec. 11) tossed a Texas lawsuit that would have invalidated millions of ballots in four swing states and effectively handed the White House to Donald Trump.
The case—which was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) and supported by the Republican AGs of numerous states—argued that Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania “unconstitutionally” changed their voting procedures in the run-up to the November election. The suit also asked the Supreme Court to delay the December 14 meeting of Electoral College electors.
The court, in a brief unsigned order, said Texas lacked standing to pursue the case, saying it “has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections,” The New York Times reported.
As a practical matter the Supreme Court ends any prospect that Trump will overturn the already certified election results in court.
A 23-state coalition of attorneys general, including New York’s, yesterday joined the fray over the Texas lawsuit.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, and the others urged the the high court to reject Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s request.
His suit, backed by 17 states where Trump won, would overturn election results in four swing states — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — critical to President-elect Joseph Biden’s victory.
In an amicus brief filed in Texas v. Pennsylvania, the coalition argues that Texas’s unprecedented suit depends on a misreading of the U.S. Constitution’s Electors Clause.
It also ” clashes with a century of precedent, denies states’ power to make their own decisions about election administration and oversight, and threatens to upend the basic notions of federalism and states’ rights.”
“Further, the suit depends on wildly false and inaccurate claims of voter fraud, offering no evidence whatsoever of systemic fraud in the November election,” James noted in a statement.
James called the lawsuit “nothing more than a faithless attempt to undermine the will of the people and have the courts choose the next president.”
“Providing any consideration of these ridiculous claims undermines the integrity of our elections and spits in the face of nearly 250 years of our country’s electoral process.”
The president and his allies have filed 55 election-related suits since the election. Judges, including his own appointees, have rejected their claims in all but one minor case.
The Texas suit has been described as an 11th hour “hail Mary.”
Trump calls the suit “the big one” and 106 Republican members of Congress have signed on in support of the brief.
But the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security proclaimed the 2020 election “the most secure in American history.”
What’s more, the U.S. Justice Department, under Trump sycophant Bill Barr, also found no evidence of widespread fraud that would change the results of the election.
Biden won Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by decisive margins.
Wisconsin and Georgia conducted recounts to confirm the results.
Wisconsin’s recount, which cost the Trump campaign $3.9 million, revealed that Biden won the state by a slightly larger margin.
Trump put Georgia through three recounts, all of which affirmed Biden’s election margin.
Election officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have now certified their results. The Electoral College will vote to affirm Biden’s presidency Dec. 14.
Nonetheless Trump has continued to make wild and knowingly false allegations of electoral tampering and claims he won re-election.
The Texas lawsuit alleges that the states unlawfully enacted changes to their own election laws because of the COVID-19.
Tellingly, the suit says absolutely nothing about other states — including Texas and several states supporting the lawsuit — that made similar changes to their election process. Trump won those states.
The amicus brief in opposition to Texas’s effort to overturn the results of the election cite the following grounds.
Texas’s interpretation of the Electors Clause is contrary to a century’s worth of precedent:
The Electors Clause of the Constitution grants the states the power to set their own rules for presidential elections held within their own states. While the text of the Constitution says this authority is given to “state legislatures,” since the early 20th century, the Supreme Court has allowed the legislatures to delegate this authority to elections administrators or other state government entities
States have a constitutional right to determine the process for administering their own elections:
Federalism is a core component of the Constitution, governing a division of power between the states and the federal government. The Constitution makes clear, and the Supreme Court has affirmed, that the framers granted the states the right to administer and oversee presidential elections on their own.
Yet, Texas’s lawsuit — calling on the Supreme Court to intervene in the elections held by the four defendant states — would infringe on that right, and, thus, their sovereignty. Further, it would set its own destructive precedent, limiting the states’ ability to make critical changes to the structure and oversight of elections.
There is no evidence that the states’ common-sense measures to protect the vote and the health of residents produced significant voter fraud:
Since 2000, more than 250 million people in all 50 states have voted using mail-in ballots, and, in 2018 alone, more than 31 million Americans — or about 25.8 percent of voters — cast their ballots by mail. Moreover, five states — Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington — already have all-mail voting systems, where every registered voter receives a ballot in the mail. Despite the prevalence of voting by mail, officials at the state and federal level have consistently found no evidence of widespread fraud.
That remained true for the 2020 election. Additionally, although President Trump has made knowingly false claims that the results were tainted by voter fraud, his campaign lawyers and other allies have consistently failed to substantiate these assertions with any evidence. Indeed, Republican and Democratic officials overseeing the elections in all four defendant states have repeatedly confirmed that these processes were safe and secure.
Attorneys general supporting the brief are from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, the District of Columbia, the territory of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.