The Supreme Court has rejected a suit from the Texas attorney general — backed by the Trump campaign as well as 126 Republican members of Congress — to overturn the 2020 election by nixing the results in four key swing states.
The last-ditch legal ploy to throw out the results of the democratic process that has made Democrat Joe Biden president-elect was the second time this week the high court rebuffed Republican efforts to undo the will of American voters.
The electoral college that will choose the next president will convene on Monday. More than 300 of those electors are pledged to Mr Biden, more than enough to clinch the 270 he needs to become the 46th president.
The nine justices — three of whom were nominated by Donald Trump over the last four years and confirmed by a GOP Senate — dismissed the case on the grounds that Texas did not have legal standing to challenge how another state ran its elections.
“Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections,” the court wrote in a bare-bones order on Friday.
Texas attorney general Ken Paxton launched his legal challenge last week against the key swing states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — all of which broke for Mr Biden by thin margins — over the integrity of their election processes.
Mr Paxton claimed that the Covid-related changes to election procedures in those states violated federal law, and he was asking the court to block those states in the electoral college. Doing so would have given Mr Trump a narrow advantage in the electoral college, but not the 270 votes to become president. Instead, state delegations to the US House of Representatives would have chosen the next president. Republicans will control more state delegations than Democrats next Congress even though Democrats will retain a slight overall majority.
In the months leading up to the election and the weeks since, Republicans have made baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. Dozens of state and federal courts dismissed legal challenge after legal challenge brought by Republicans questioning state and local election processes, with judges pointing to the paucity — or, often, the complete lack — of substantiating evidence.
Seventeen other GOP state attorneys general signed onto Mr Paxton’s late challenge to the election results.
The four states whose election results were targeted in the lawsuit fired back that the results would be a dagger to American democracy.
“Texas seeks to invalidate elections in four states for yielding results with which it disagrees,” Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro wrote to the court against Mr Paxton’s suit.
“Its request for this court to exercise its original jurisdiction and then anoint Texas’s preferred candidate for president is legally indefensible and is an affront to principles of constitutional democracy.”
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