States inform justices to disclaim Texas request to overturn 2020 election

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Pennsylvania Republicans seek Supreme Court order to keep later-arriving ballots separate and uncounted (updated)

Posted Thu December 10th 2020, 5:28 pm by Amy Howe

Four states – Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – called on the Supreme Court Thursday afternoon to reject Texas’s efforts to topple the 2020 elections. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, using strong language rarely found on Supreme Court files, told judges “to not stand this seditious abuse of legal process and send a clear and unmistakable signal that a such abuse must never be repeated ”.

The filings came in the lawsuit that Texas intends to file directly with the Supreme Court, a process known as the original jurisdiction that seeks to delay the electoral college vote and prevent the four states from voting on the electoral college for the president-elect Joe Biden to deliver. The briefs filed Monday by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton alleged that the 2020 elections “suffered from significant and unconstitutional irregularities in these four states,” making it impossible to know who “was voting in.” Year 2020 rightly won “.

Numerous lower courts and electoral authorities in the states in question have found no evidence of fraud, illegality or other electoral problems that would cast doubt on the results.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday asked judges for permission to join the Texas lawsuit, arguing that “nearly half of the country believe the election was stolen”. And on Thursday morning, six more states – Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina and Utah – moved for approval to join, telling the court that they “shared” concerns raised by Trump and Texas over the unconstitutional administration of the president’s election in the accused states and their impact on voters in their own states.

Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin filed four separate pleadings, but common themes emerged on all four. First, states emphasized, the Texas action does not fall into the narrow category of cases where the Supreme Court should exercise its original jurisdiction. Among other things, states said there is another forum to settle these disputes, as evidenced by courts across the country repeatedly reviewing and rejecting similar claims about the 2020 elections. And if the Supreme Court were to exercise its original jurisdiction here, the states warned, its acts would be permanently flooded with electoral disputes every four years.

Second, states told the judges that the Texas lawsuit was not a viable case because Texas (among other things) did not have a legal right to sue that is labeled standing because it could not prove it had been violated. Georgia pushed back against the argument that Texas stands because it has an interest in the election of the vice president who will cast the casting vote in the Senate: Texas has no particular interest in the vice president’s vote, Georgia noted, but definitely enough did not use “speculation that the vice president might one day cast a groundbreaking vote” to support a lawsuit. In fact, Georgia notes that President-elect Joe Biden never cast a groundbreaking vote during his eight years as Vice President.

The four states were represented by their attorneys general and other state officials, but Georgia was also represented by several private attorneys, including a former Justice Clerk Clarence Thomas and Joseph Hunt, who served as assistant attorney general in the Justice Department while the Trump administration was in progress.

Texas will likely submit a brief response to the four state filings. There is no schedule for the judges to rule upon Texas request, although they will likely act quickly.

This post was originally published on Howe on the Court.

Posted in Texas v. Pennsylvania, Featured, Election Disputes

Recommended citation:
Amy Howe, States tells judges to reject Texas’s motion to vacate the 2020 election.
SCOTUSblog (December 10, 2020, 5:28 pm), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/12/states-tell-justices-to-deny-texas-request-to-overturn-2020-election/