Court Battles

Texas sues states Biden won in Supreme Court, seeking to delay Electoral College vote

Texas announced on Tuesday that it would be filing a lawsuit in the Supreme Court against four battleground states in an effort to halt presidential electors from finalizing President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Texas argued that electors from Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin should not be allowed to cast their votes in part because those states unconstitutionally changed their voting procedures during the coronavirus pandemic to allow for increased mail-in ballots. Biden won all four states.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) alleges that the new voting processes in the battleground states skewed the presidential election results and asked the Supreme Court to delay Monday’s deadline for the Electoral College to make Biden’s victory official.

“Their failure to abide by the rule of law casts a dark shadow of doubt over the outcome of the entire election,” Paxton said in a statement. “We now ask that the Supreme Court step in to correct this egregious error.”

Paxton’s 154-page complaint echoes the legal arguments made by President Trump and his allies in courts across the country seeking to overturn election results in key states Biden won. That legal effort, which has failed to notch any meaningful victories so far, has pushed dubious claims of widespread voter fraud and manipulation by elections officials.

Paxton’s counterparts in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin spoke out against the suit Tuesday, with some openly mocking it on Twitter.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) responded to Paxton’s lawsuit with a statement posted on Twitter, slamming his complaint as a “publicity stunt.”

“The erosion of confidence in our democratic system isn’t attributable to the good people of Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia or Pennsylvania but rather to partisan officials, like Mr. Paxton, who place loyalty to a person over loyalty to their country,” Nessel said.

“The Michigan issues raised in this complaint have already been thoroughly litigated and roundly rejected in both state and federal courts — by judges appointed from both political parties. Mr. Paxton’s actions are beneath the dignity of the office of Attorney General and the people of the great state of Texas.”

Katie Byrd, a spokeswoman for Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (R), added in an email, “With all due respect, the Texas Attorney General is constitutionally, legally and factually wrong about Georgia.”

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) said on Twitter, “These continued attacks on our fair and free election system are beyond meritless, beyond reckless — they are a scheme by the President of the United States and some in the Republican party to disregard the will of the people– and name their own victors.”

And Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) tweeted, “I feel sorry for Texans that their tax dollars are being wasted on such a genuinely embarrassing lawsuit. Texas is as likely to change the outcome of the Ice Bowl as it is to overturn the will of Wisconsin voters in the 2020 presidential election.”

The lawsuit was filed directly with the Supreme Court because it has exclusive jurisdiction over legal disputes between states. Paxton also argued that the high court is the only one equipped to handle such a case over the Electoral College.

Texas argued that it has the standing to bring such a lawsuit because its electors will have their voting power diluted by the practices in the battleground states.

Updated at 12:51 p.m. 

Tags 2020 2020 election Biden transition Donald Trump Georgia Joe Biden Ken Paxton Michigan Pennsylvania Texas Wisconsin
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