On Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he had filed lawsuits against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin with the U.S. Supreme Court. The lawsuits allege the four states ignored federal and state election laws and enacted what he described as “unconstitutional” last-minute changes to their election rules, which he argues skewed the 2020 election results.
In a statement announcing the lawsuits, Paxton’s office said, “The battleground states flooded their people with unlawful ballot applications and ballots while ignoring statutory requirements as to how they were received, evaluated and counted.”
The lawsuit comes weeks after multiple U.S. media publications called the 2020 presidential election for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, but as President Donald Trump has continued to raise challenges to the election results.
Paxton had previously entered Texas into a multi-state amicus brief with nine other states, urging the Supreme Court to reconsider a decision allowing Pennsylvania to receive mailed ballots up to three days after election day, despite no legislative change to the state’s election procedures. The brief argues the Pennsylvania Supreme Court “overstepped its constitutional authority” by ruling in favor of the post-election day ballot rules, despite the state legislature passing no new laws extending the period the state could receive ballots beyond election day.
For his latest legal challenge, Paxton’s office similarly argues that the U.S. Constitution puts the responsibility for setting election laws with the state legislatures, but, “The majority of the rushed decisions, made by local officials, were not approved by the state legislatures, thereby circumventing the Constitution.”
Paxton said, “By ignoring both state and federal law, these states have not only tainted the integrity of their own citizens’ vote, but of Texas and every other state that held lawful elections. Their failure to abide by the rule of law casts a dark shadow of doubt over the outcome of the entire election. We now ask that the Supreme Court step in to correct this egregious error.”
Responding to the lawsuit on Tuesday morning, University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck tweeted, “It looks like we have a new leader in the ‘craziest lawsuit filed to purportedly challenge the election’ category: The State of Texas is suing Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin *directly* in #SCOTUS. (Spoiler alert: The Court is *never* going to hear this one.)”
It looks like we have a new leader in the “craziest lawsuit filed to purportedly challenge the election” category:
The State of Texas is suing Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin *directly* in #SCOTUS.
(Spoiler alert: The Court is *never* going to hear this one.) pic.twitter.com/2L4GmdCB6I
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) December 8, 2020
Here’s a link to the full Texas lawsuit filed against the four states.