State of Texas files Hail Mary legal bid to overturn the election result by asking Supreme Court to rule out millions of mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin
- One Texas law professor called the suit ‘insane’
- It argues that other states violated Constitution by changing their election laws
- Elections Cause gives states authority to conduct their own elections
- Suit provides an avenue to the Supreme Court, which handles intra-state matters
- Republican AG of Texas is on the suit, which names four states Joe Biden won
- All the states have Republican legislatures
The state of Texas joined the desperate effort to get a case that would overturn the election results before the Supreme Court on the stroke of midnight Tuesday – by suing four battleground states that Joe Biden won for the way they conducted elections.
Suits by the Trump campaign and allies have failed to persuade a string of judges to support their charges of voter fraud. In the suit filed late Monday, Texas argues that the four states violated the Constitution’s Elections Clause with their dramatic expansion of mail-in ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Whether well intentioned or not, these unconstitutional acts had the same uniform effect—they made the 2020 election less secure in the Defendant States,’ according to the suit. ‘Those changes are inconsistent with relevant state laws and were made by non-legislative entities, without any consent by the state legislatures. The acts of these officials thus directly violated the Constitution.’
University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck called the suit ‘insane,’ quipping on Twitter: ‘It looks like we have a new leader in the “craziest lawsuit filed to purportedly challenge the election” category.’
The Constitution’s Elections Clause in Article 1 states that the ‘Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof’ – establishing each state’s role in running its elections.
This is why some states allowed for universal mail-in voting years ago and some took a different course.
President Trump claims he ‘won’ the election but has suffered a series of defeats in court
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (right) has filed suit against four states that went for Joe Biden, asking the Supreme Court to have Republican-run state legislatures appoint electors and hand the presidency to Donald Trump
The Texas suit claims ‘rampant lawlessness’ and cites some of the same claims that have either been debunked or thrown out of court.
For example, it cites ‘suitcases full of ballots being pulled out from underneath tables after poll watchers were told to leave’ in Georgia, although an official from the Republican Secretary of State’s office in Georgia provided an affidavit.
‘Our investigation and review of the entire security footage revealed that there were no mystery ballots that were brought in from an unknown location and hidden under tables as has been reported by some,’ investigator Frances Watson wrote.
University of Texas law professor Steve Vladek called the suit ‘insane’ and the ‘craziest’ election challenge lawsuit yet
Texas itself allows mail-in voting, but sets out categories and requires a reason: travel, being over 65, incarcerated, or with a disability.
Pennsylvania’s legislature voted in 2019 to create no-excuse mail-in voting, before the pandemic. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed the legislation, which was passed on a bipartisan basis.
The suit seeks to remand the appointment of electors to the states’ legislatures – which are all Republican-run – for appointment by the legislators rather than the popular vote that occured.
The suit came on another bad day for the president and his allies in court. On Monday Georgia certified its vote for Joe Biden again, while former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell’s ‘Kraken’ lawsuits got thrown out by federal judges in Georgia and Michigan.
‘The People have spoken,’ wrote U.S. District Court Judge Linda V. Parker in a blistering decision.
The suit claims defendant states ‘flooded their citizenry with tens of millions of ballot applications and ballots in derogation of statutory controls as to how they are lawfully received, evaluated, and counted.’
It calls out ‘non-legislative changes to the Defendant States’ election laws’ through state courts and election officials.
The suit asks the Supreme Court to delay the December 14th meting of the Electoral College to allow for investigations. It accused the states of ‘rampant lawlessness’ and trying to ‘usurp’ powers from their legislatures.
The suit came as it was revealed Trump called the Republican speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives twice over the last week, in his latest effort to get the battleground state’s legislature to overturn the popular victory for Joe Biden there.
House Speaker Bryan Cutler’s office confirmed the two calls to The Washington Post, making Pennsylvania the third state Trump directly attempted to pressure into reversing the election results. He also sought to intervene in Michigan and Georgia – three of the states mentioned in the Texas lawsuit.
The suit would result in throwing out the results in four battleground states won by President-elect Joe Biden