AUSTIN, TX / WASHINGTON DC (CBSDFW.COM) -- Eighteen states -- now including Arizona -- have backed a Texas lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia. That lawsuit was filed directly with the United States Supreme Court on Monday, Dec. 7.
Paxton sued battleground states on behalf of the state of Texas saying the 'defendant states' made unconstitutional changes to their laws before the 2020 election.
He said those states tainted the integrity of the vote in Texas and all states.
An amicus brief (amicus curiae) or 'friend of the court' brief was filed with the high court earlier Wednesday. The states of Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia have all signed on to the brief that backs the Texas suit.
Arizona was the latest state to file an amicus brief on Wednesday bringing the total to 18 states.
According to the American Bar Association, "'Friend of the court' or amicus curiae briefs are often filed in appellate cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court and state supreme courts, as well as intermediate courts of appeal. And there is considerable evidence that amicus briefs have influence."
On Tuesday evening, the Supreme Court ordered the defendant states to reply by 3 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10.
"It's not unusual," SMU Constitutional Law Professor Dale Carpenter told CBS 11. "I don't think it indicates anything very important… I think the court will act quickly on Thursday."
"The states violated statutes enacted by their duly elected legislatures, thereby violating the Constitution. 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," said Paxton. "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."
"Ken Paxton is asking that Republican state legislatures in four states be allowed to displace the will of the voters in those States and choose their own slate of electors, presumably to hand the election to Donald Trump in January," said Carpenter. "The Supreme Court is not going to allow that to happen."
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