President Donald Trump proclaimed on Twitter Wednesday that the federal government “will intervene” in Texas from afar trial challenge the results of the presidential election he lost to Joe Biden, adding that the case – which comes as Trump and his allies are on a historic series of court defeats – is “the big one”.
“Our country needs a victory!” Trump wrote.
We will INTERVENE in the case of Texas (and many other states). This is the big one. Our country needs a victory!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2020
The case is the work of Trump’s staunch ally, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (who is under federal investigation and could therefore benefit from a possible presidential pardon). Paxton’s lawsuit asks the Supreme Court to block four states where Biden won the popular vote – Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia – from voting for Biden.
It is unclear exactly what Trump meant by promising to “intervene” in the trial, which has the backing of 17 other Republican attorneys general who filed on Wednesday an amicus brief full of faulty arguments.
Much of this file concerns people living in glass houses that sink stones. He argues that allowing postal ballots after election day undermines faith in democracy. But Kansas and Mississippi, which have both signed, also count mail-in ballots that arrive late. pic.twitter.com/vOuGvjQjVW
– Brad Heath (@bradheath) December 9, 2020
If the Texas trial succeeds and the four states in question are prevented from voting for Biden, that would mean Biden would no longer have the 270 electoral votes he needs to become president. This would obviously be a very big problem and could possibly mark the end of the democratic presidential elections in the United States. But there’s no reason to believe the Supreme Court will fit into an election Biden very clearly won.
The Texas lawsuit is a slapdash effort
Like Amy Howe explains for SCOTUSblogThe Paxton lawsuit argues that voters in Texas were disenfranchised in a national election by lax postal voting standards in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia:
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s filing accuses four-state government officials of using the COVID-19 pandemic to make changes to their states’ election laws through “executive trials or friendly, weakening lawsuits thus the integrity of the ballots ”. State officials, writes Paxton, have “inundated” their states with postal ballots and “weakened the most stringent security measures protecting the integrity of the verification of voting signatures and the requirements for voting. witnesses ”. As a result, Paxton argues, the 2020 election “suffered from significant and unconstitutional irregularities in these four states” – for example, by treating voters in democratic areas more favorably than in other areas. Taken together, says Paxton, these flaws make it impossible to know who “legitimately won the 2020 election and threatens to scramble all future elections.”
During Fox and friends Appearing on Wednesday, Paxton argued that the four states in question “did not follow their own state law,” so the remedy should be to “transfer this to the legislature … and let them decide the outcome of the election ”. (The four states in question have legislatures controlled by Republicans.)
On Fox & Friends, Texas AG says its election lawsuit against 4 other states is hoping to convince SCOTUS that they “didn’t follow their own state law,” so “let’s transfer this to the legislature … and let it go. decide the outcome of the election. ” pic.twitter.com/7u6q65dzZS
– Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) December 9, 2020
But the problem Paxton faces is the same one that has hampered all legal challenges filed so far by Trump allies: There is simply no evidence of significant irregularities. Election officials in dozens of states covering the red to blue spectrum have found no proof major electoral fraud that spoiled the results. And they watched.
“The accusations of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair doesn’t make it that way ” wrote Trump-appointed judge Stephanos Bibas has dismissed a court challenge to Trump’s Pennsylvania results. This sentiment was echoed by a conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court judge Brian Hagedorn, who wrote in response to another failed court challenge from Trump: “A judicial acquiescence in such proceedings resting on such a fragile foundation would do damage. indelible in every future election. ”
Unsurprisingly, election officials and lawyers active in the states Paxton is suing are responding to his efforts by mocking and ridiculing them.
Marc Elias, chairman of Perkins Coie’s political law group, which represents the Biden campaign, tweeted about the lawsuit: “No, I’m not worried. No, it will not succeed.
NEW: Texas has filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Michigan in the United States Supreme Court to strike down their election results.
My answers to your questions:
“No, I’m not worried.
“No, that won’t work.
“I’ve no idea.https://t.co/mAN98udwBi
– Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) December 8, 2020
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, who chairs the Republican Association of Attorneys General, said by a spokesperson who “with all due respect, the attorney general of Texas is constitutionally, legally and factually wrong about Georgia.” On a related note, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, tweeted: “This lawsuit seems to suggest that Michigan voters played with Texas. They did not do it. Case closed.”
While Trump has not hesitated to publicly indicate that he believes the three Supreme Court justices he has successfully appointed owe him something, courts quick dismissal of a sentence On Tuesday, Representative Mike Kelly’s (R-PA) efforts to prevent Pennsylvania from certifying Biden’s victory in the state indicated that the conservative majority in the court was unwilling to get involved in Trump’s efforts to overturn his loss.
For Trump, however, desperate times call for desperate measures.
Trump doesn’t even really pretend anymore
The backdrop to Trump’s adoption of the Texan gambit is his growing cheekiness over what he is trying to do, which is to reverse the results of an election he lost.
On Wednesday alone, the president posted a tweet exclaiming “RIGGED ELECTION”, another claiming (falsely) that “I have received hundreds of thousands more legal votes, in all the swing states, than my opponent,” and a third lamenting that “If someone cheated in the election, which the Democrats did, why wouldn’t the election be immediately called off?” How can a country be run like this? ”
The tweets came a day after Trump used a White House coronavirus vaccination event as an opportunity to undermine the U.S. election while suggesting Biden may not be invested as president next month.
“Well, we’re going to have to see who the next administration is … hopefully the next administration is the Trump administration … we’ve been rewarded with a victory” – Trump still lies about his electoral loss pic.twitter.com/amriO46DW9
– Aaron Rupar (atrupar) December 8, 2020
While Trump wants people to believe his loss to Biden was tainted, his legal team has been unable to produce any evidence. In fact, there have been more cases of the coronavirus among Trump’s top campaign advocates (two – Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis recently tested positive) than successful court challenges introduced by Trump allies (a).
Experts say Paxton’s lawsuit recycles weak allegations of irregularities from challenges that have already failed. For example, Lisa Marshall Manheim, professor at the University of Washington Law School, said in the Washington Post of Paxton case that “this is an uninspired retreading of the many state-level claims. have already imploded since November 3. Texas simply delivered these flawed claims in an even worse package. “
As uninspired as it may sound, Trump is clearly unable to discern good evidence from nonsense. On Wednesday, for example, he cited the fact that betting sites briefly improved his odds of winning on election night – before many mail-in votes Biden unsurprisingly dominated were counted – as apparent proof he was victim of a conspiracy. (Trump’s tweet is factually incorrect. His chances has never been as high as he claimed.)
By 10:00 pm on election night, we were 97% victorious with the so-called “bookmakers”.
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2020
While the Texas lawsuit is unlikely to gain traction, Trump’s refusal to concede produced a fundraising boon for him and gave his die-hard fans reason to hope at least a little longer. .
Watch a pro-Trump media group today and it’s pretty universal: The new theory is that SCOTUS will take over the Texas case and allow state legislatures to replace chosen voters with voters. Goal posts moving at Mach 5
– Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) December 9, 2020
In the probable event that the Texas gambit fails, the result will fuel the narrative of the “rigged elections” Trump has pushed – one that could become his platform for a 2024 race. What if staying true to that story forces Trump to disparage the Supreme Court as part of the “deep state”, then there is no reason to believe it will not go.