DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — A lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton aims to invalidate 62 electoral college votes from four battleground states. Paxton said changed election procedures brought on by the pandemic violated federal law, and he is asking the Supreme Court to keep those states from voting in the Electoral College.
“This isn’t about Joe Biden and Donald Trump,” Paxton said. “This is about the future of our elections.”
The targeted states are Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin — four battleground states that handed victory to President-elect Joe Biden. Add their weight together and they equal 62 Electoral College votes. Votes that Paxton, a Republican, is asking the high court to invalidate.
“It’s somewhat focused on fraud, but our real issue is about the Constitution and whether it needs to be followed,” said Paxton. “In this case, we’re arguing it has to be followed, or else the Constitution doesn’t matter anymore. Our elections don’t matter.”
In a 36-page lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court, Paxton makes his case that the four states used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to revise election rules. His complaints range from unsupervised mail-in ballots and poll worker misconduct to counting ballots post-deadline. They are revisions that, Paxton argues, are unconstitutional and worked in tandem to weaken election security and elect Biden.
“I support any candidate—including the President of the United States—pursuing their remedies in court,” said Texas Sen. John Cornyn. “And making sure that any lawful vote is counted and every illegal vote is not counted.”
The lawsuit quickly gained support from 17 states and President Trump who took to Twitter to announce his plan to intervene in the case. Part of his Tweet reads: “This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!”
But not everyone agrees. In Utah, Attorney General Reyes has backed the lawsuit. Gov. Gary Herbert and Governor-Elect Spencer Cox, both Republicans, condemned that choice. Katie Matheson is with Alliance for a Better Utah, a nonprofit that aims to hold politicians accountable and advocates for progressive policies. She says support of this litigation is “outrageous.”
“He [Reyes] is trying to throw out peoples’ votes because he does not like the results of the election,” Matheson said.
In Wisconsin, one of the defendant states, Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, called the Texas lawsuit “embarrassing.”
Georgia directly challenged the underlying premise of the Texas complaint.
“Georgia’s legislature enacted laws governing elections and election disputes, and the State and its officers have implemented and followed those laws,” Georgia wrote in a motion to the Supreme Court.
“Under Georgia law, the State Elections Board has authority …” Georgia said, and stated the board only did what its legislature permitted.
Georgia also said Texas has no standing, in other words, no legal right to sue, because Texas suffered no harm from the election results in another state.
Pennsylvania also responded on Thursday, saying changes made to the deadlines for receiving mail-in ballots were not a violation of state law.
“There was no state law violation when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court temporarily modified the deadline for the receipt of mail-in and absentee ballots, because state constitutional law required it,” Pennsylvania said.
“The Court should not abide this seditious abuse of the judicial process,” Pennsylvania wrote, and its Attorney General, Josh Shapiro mentioned via Twitter.
Various lawmakers from the Pennsylvania Assembly took a different view and filed a document in support of Texas.
The District of Columbia on Thursday filed its opposition to Texas on behalf of itself, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington.
“The people have chosen,” proclaimed the District of Columbia. “But Texas, supported by 17 other states, asks this Court to overturn that choice.”
“Voting by mail is a safe, secure, and lawful method for conducting an election, particularly during a public health crisis,” the district also said.
Last week, U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr declared that the U.S. Justice Department had found no widespread evidence of voter fraud that would sway the outcome. Trump disputed Barr’s findings from the Oval Office.
“This is probably the most fraudulent election that anyone’s ever seen,” Trump said.
When a reporter asked the President if he still had confidence in Barr, Trump paused and replied that he would have to be asked that question again “in a number of weeks.”