Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, filed a lawsuit against Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Texas prosecutor alleges that these jurisdictions used the pandemic as an excuse to change the rules of the electoral game in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
“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 to be received, evaluated, and counted,” says the Texas Attorney General’s statement.
In the United States, a state can sue another state if it believes the defendant violated the Constitution. This is the case in this electoral lawsuit, since Ken Paxton argues that changes in the electoral rules were unconstitutional.
“Trust in the integrity of our election processes is sacrosanct and binds our citizenry and the States in this Union together. Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin destroyed that trust and compromised the security and integrity of the 2020 election. The states violated statutes enacted by their duly elected legislatures, thereby violating the Constitution,” said the AG.
“By ignoring both state and federal law, these states have not only tainted the integrity of their own citizens’ vote, but of Texas and every other state that held lawful elections.”
According to the lawsuit, the Attorney General is asking the Supreme Court to delay the December 14th voter certification deadline for further fraud investigations.
Responses to the Texas Attorney General were fast
A lawsuit of this caliber —and in these terms— generated several comments, especially among the Texas Attorney General’s counterparts.
“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 (…) We should not allow this circus to continue”.Pennsylvania Attorney General, Josh Shapiro
For their part, the AGs of the other three respondent states also spoke out. For example, Josh Kaul, Wisconsin attorney general, was very harsh about the lawsuit: “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.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel also spoke out against the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Paxton: “The motion filed by the Texas Attorney General is a publicity stunt, not a serious legal pleading (…) Mr. Paxton’s actions are beneath the dignity of the Attorney General’s office and the people of the great state of Texas.”
Georgia’s AG office also emitted a statement:
“With all due respect, the Texas Attorney General is constitutionally, legally and factually wrong about Georgia”.Georgia Attorney General’s Office
In his statement, the prosecutor argues that “elections for federal office must meet federal constitutional standards” and that, furthermore, “for presidential elections, each state must appoint its electors to the electoral college in a manner that complies with the Constitution.”
The prosecutor’s complaint arises because the “Voters’ Clause” says that only state legislatures can establish rules governing the appointment of electors and elections and cannot be delegated to local officials. This means, then, that many of the decisions made by local officials were not approved by the state legislatures, and that, the prosecutor argues, circumvents the American Constitution.