WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Donald Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court to let him join a bill of complaint filed by Texas seeking to overturn his election loss by throwing out the voting results in four states. The litigation has drawn support from 17 other states.
Trump, defeated by President-elect Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 election, filed a motion with the court asking the nine justices to let him intervene and become a plaintiff in the suit filed on Tuesday by Republican-governed Texas against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The Texas lawsuit seeks to invalidate 62 Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden from Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
If those 62 Electoral Votes are invalidated, it would be enough to swing the election to Trump. The Trump campaign’s efforts to challenge the election results so far have been unsuccessful.
In a brief filed Wednesday by the State of Missouri in support of Texas, 16 more states also signed in support: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia.
The lawsuit has garnered support from the Attorney General of Arkansas and Alabama along with several other high-ranking officials. All of the states are represented by Republican officials in the filing. All but three of the states have Republican governors.
Officials from Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have called the lawsuit a “reckless attack on democracy.”
The Texas suit argued that changes to voting procedures made by Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin amid the coronavirus pandemic to expand mail-in voting were unlawful. Texas asked the Supreme Court to immediately block the four states from using the voting results to appoint presidential electors to the Electoral College.
The Texas lawsuit does not claim widespread fraud. The word widespread never appears, although it does claim protections against fraud were weakened. The Texas lawsuit claims that the authority to hold an election comes from the U.S. Constitution and therefore any election practice that violates the constitution, such as equal protection, is not permissible.
Biden has secured 306 electoral votes, as of Tuesday when Hawaii certified its results, according to The Associated Press. Trump has 232 electoral votes.
Texas also asked the Supreme Court to delay the Dec. 14 date for Electoral College votes to be formally cast, a date set by law in 1887.
If the justices let Trump join the lawsuit, it would create the extraordinary circumstance of a sitting U.S. president asking the top American court to decide that the millions of votes cast in the four states did not count. The Republican president lost to Biden in the four election battleground states after winning them in the 2016 election.
The U.S. Supreme Court indicates Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have until Thursday afternoon to file a written response.
Election law experts have said the Texas lawsuit stands little chance of success and lacks legal merit.
“Both procedurally and substantively, it’s a mess,” Justin Levitt, an election law professor at Loyola Law School in California, said of the Texas lawsuit. “There’s zero chance the court agrees to take the case.”
Trump’s filing with the court said the four states “conducted the elections according to unauthorized rules,” adding that it was “not necessary for the Plaintiff in Intervention (Trump) to prove that fraud occurred” to have the election results thrown out.
Trump brought his motion in his personal capacity, rather than through the U.S. Justice Department or his campaign.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report