Everything seemed uphill for the legal efforts of U.S. President Donald J. Trump. But a final bullet representing a glimmer of hope for his campaign appeared: the lawsuit filed by the Texas attorney general in the U.S. Supreme Court has been supported, in writing, by a group of 17 states led by Missouri.
These 17 states support the request in the Texas lawsuit aimed at delaying the appointment of the presidential electors of Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. They left their support in a brief filed Wednesday afternoon with the Supreme Court.
What Texas argues, and which these 17 states now support, is that the defendant states acted unconstitutionally when their powers – judicial or executive – changed the electoral rules of the game.
The Texas lawsuit argues that only state legislatures can make laws about how states appoint their presidential electors.
17 states ask for “permission” to intervene in the lawsuit
Just as Fox News said, “The brief filed by Missouri and the other states, which is officially a motion for leave to file a bill of complaint, also warns that the changes enacted by the state executives and judicial branches opened the states’ elections up to potential fraud.”
The Texas Attorney General’s statement argued that “The four states exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the results of the 2020 General Election. The battleground states flooded their people with unlawful ballot applications and ballots while ignoring statutory requirements as to how they were received, evaluated and counted.”
It wasn’t just the 17 states that asked for this “permission” to sue. Trump’s legal team also expressed support for the efforts being driven from Texas.
“The illegal suspension or violation of state law directly calls into question the certification of election results in the respondent states for Vice President Joe Biden, the proposed plaintiff in the opponent’s election intervention,” the Republican campaign brief said. “President Trump’s interest in the outcome of this litigation could not be more acute.
In that sense, it is important to point out that the states being sued – Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – have until 3:00 PM on Thursday to respond before the Supreme Court.
Yesterday, just after the Texas AG issued a statement, the AGs – or their spokespersons – from the defendant states expressed their displeasure with the lawsuit filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.
For example, the spokesperson of Georgia’s AG mentioned that “With all due respect, the Texas attorney general is constitutionally, legally and factually wrong about Georgia.”
The other counterparts of Ken Paxton – the Texas attorney general- were more incisive and tougher on the lawsuit:
“The motion filed by the Texas Attorney General is a publicity stunt, not a serious legal argument (…) Mr. Paxton’s actions are beneath the dignity of the Attorney General’s office and the people of the great state of Texas.MIchigan’s AG, Dana Nessel.
In any case, it is up to the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the merits of the case. Its decision may be the final blow to the President’s legal efforts, which have not succeeded in the lower courts. This reduces the chances of the possibility of the Supreme Court taking the case.
In words of the Missouri Attorney General, Eric Schmitt:
“The integrity of our elections is of critical importance to maintaining our republic, both today and in future elections (…) The stakes of protecting our Constitution, defending our liberty and ensuring that all votes are counted fairly couldn’t be higher. With this brief, we are joining the fight.”