The Texas lawsuit seeking the U.S. Supreme Court to validate the victory of President-elect Joe Biden quickly became a conservative litmus test, as 106 members of Congress and the multi-state attorney general signed the case, although some have speculated that it would fail.
Last bid to suppress November 3 results Election US President Donald Trump is also displaying political power as his term draws to a close. Although most of the signatories are right-wing conservatives from the deep red districts, the filing means a quarter of the U.S. House believes the Supreme Court should set aside the election results.
Trump, 17 states have joined the Supreme Court in a Texas attempt to manipulate U.S. election damage
Seventeen Republican attorney generals are backing an unprecedented case that Trump calls “big,” even though the president and his allies have lost dozens in courts across the country and there is no evidence of widespread fraud. In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Republicans claimed that “unconstitutional manipulation” had cast doubt on the 2020 outcome and the “integrity of the American electoral system.”
Clearly, there is no evidence of widespread fraud and Trump is trying to suppress the will of the electorate. Electoral legal experts believe the lawsuit will never go through.
“The Supreme Court will not cancel the election in the Texas case, as the president told them,” tweeted Rick Hassan, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine. He said by Texas and its attorney general Ken Paxton that “we are in a bad position as a country where 17 states can support a shameful, anti-American filing.”
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The lawsuit, filed in Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, repeats false, proven, and unsubstantiated allegations about voting in four states that went for Trump’s Democratic Challenger. The case seeks to have the High Court validate a total of 62 Electoral College votes in the states. This is an unprecedented solution in American history: tens of thousands of people voted aside and, according to an unsubstantiated claim, the Republican incumbent lost a second chance due to widespread fraud.
Two days after the Paxton lawsuit was filed, 17 states filed a motion in support of the lawsuit, and on Thursday six of those states asked to join the case. Trump acted to join the case, tweeting that “the Supreme Court has the opportunity to protect our country from the greatest electoral abuse in the history of the United States.” A few hours later, Trump held a meeting at the White House scheduled ahead of the lawsuit, with dozens of Republican attorney generals, including Paxton, backing the move.
However, some top state Republican prosecutors appealing to the Supreme Court to hear the case agreed that the attempt was a long shot and sought to distance themselves from Trump’s baseless allegations of fraud. Of the 17 attorney generals defending the case, Wayne Steinezem of North Dakota said North Dakota was not accused of voter fraud in the four states in question.
“We’re careful about that,” Stenezem said, adding that his office has received thousands of calls and emails. “But the weight of the Supreme Court is worth settling once and for all,” he said.
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox called the lawsuit a “delay” and said its chances were “excellent”. Fox supported Texas because the case raised “significant constitutional questions about the separation of powers and the integrity of mail-in ballots in those responding states.”
The suits brought by Trump and his allies have repeatedly failed nationwide, and the Supreme Court this week rejected a Republican attempt to overturn Pennsylvania’s affirmation of Biden’s victory.
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Trump saw the damage directly to the High Court, stating that it did not matter because his campaign was not involved in the case, although it would have been beneficial if the case had continued. He mercilessly tweeted about the Texas case with the hashtag “Overturn”, falsely claiming that he had won the election, but had stolen it.
Many of the attorney generals who defended the case showed greater political intent.
In Kansas, Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who is considering a bid for governor in 2022, said the Texas case presented “important and recurring constitutional questions.” Schmidt announced that Kansas would support the move just hours after former Republican Gov. Jeff Coir – another potential candidate for governor – tweeted that Schmidt’s office should join the Texas lawsuit.
The case has sparked Republican strife in Utah, where GOP Governor Gary Herbert and Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox are set to become governors in January, firing Attorney General Sean Reese for deciding to join the case.
“The Attorney General did not contact us before signing this summary, so we do not know what his motivation was,” they said in a joint statement. “Just as we do not want other states to challenge the results of the Utah election, we do not want to interfere in the elections of other states.”
Officials in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin say the suit is a publicity stunt. More than 20 other attorney generals from states including California and Virginia have also filed briefs asking the court to dismiss the case.
“Since Election Day, state and federal courts across the country have been filled with useless lawsuits aimed at banning large numbers of voters and undermining the legitimacy of elections. The state of Texas has now added a voice to bogus claims,” Democratic Attorney General of Pennsylvania Josh Shapiro wrote in a state summary.
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Despite political pressure, Idaho’s Republican Attorney General decided not to join the Texas lawsuit. Lawrence Wasden said he was concerned about “supporting a legal argument that could lead other states to sue against legal decisions made by Idaho’s legislature and governor.” Two of Idaho’s members of Congress, Republicans Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher, have joined in the legal briefing from members of the GOP House supporting the Paxton effort.
“As sometimes, a legally correct decision may not be a politically favorable decision,” Wasden said in a statement. “But my responsibility is to the state of Idaho and the rule of law.”
© 2020 Canadian Press