UPDATE WEDNESDAY MORNING: President Trump Says Campaign Will Join Texas Supreme Court Election Suit Against 4 Swing States.
NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) -- The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday evening, December 8 ordered Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia to reply to a lawsuit filed this week by Attorney General of Texas Ken Paxton.
That lawsuit asked the Supreme Court to order state legislatures in Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania to displace "tainted" election results in those States and choose their own slate of electors.
The Supreme Court posted online Tuesday evening: "Response to the motion for leave to file a bill of complaint and to the motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order or, alternatively, for stay and administrative stay requested, due Thursday, December 10, by 3 pm."
"It's not unusual," SMU Constitutional Law Professor Dale Carpenter told CBS 11 late Tuesday evening. "I don't think it indicates anything very important... I think the court will act quickly on Thursday."
Paxton sued battleground states on behalf of the State of Texas saying the 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.
Here is his full statement on the matter:
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a lawsuit against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the United States Supreme Court. The four states exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the results of the 2020 General Election. 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.
"Trust in the integrity of our election processes is sacrosanct and binds our citizenry and the States in this Union together. Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin destroyed that trust and compromised the security and integrity of the 2020 election. 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 Attorney General 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."
Elections for federal office must comport with federal constitutional standards. For presidential elections, each state must appoint its electors to the electoral college in a manner that complies with the Constitution. The Electors Clause requirement that only state legislatures may set the rules governing the appointment of electors and elections and cannot be delegated to local officials. The majority of the rushed decisions, made by local officials, were not approved by the state legislatures, thereby circumventing the Constitution.
"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," Carpenter told CBS 11 earlier on Tuesday. "The Supreme Court is not going to allow that to happen."
Paxton's announcement sparked immediate response on social media, with many weighing in on the validity of the suit.
University of Texas School of 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.)"
Of course, the only thing that matters will be the opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court and whether it decides to take the case.
In a release Tuesday morning, officials from the Republican Party of Texas said, "Chairman Allen West and the entire Texas GOP supports the legal action taken against the states of Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. We cannot allow illegal votes to be counted and voter suppression to be tolerated."
"The Republican Party of Texas strongly supports the lawsuit filed by the State of Texas against Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The unconstitutional and illegal actions in those states relating to the 2020 national election violate the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment for Texans," said West.
West said, "Our Constitution clearly expresses the enumerated power and right, of state legislatures to decide electors." According to Paxton the states violated statutes enacted by their duly elected legislatures, thereby violating the Constitution.
Paxton is hoping the Supreme Court will step in and provide a remedy.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued a statement late Tuesday morning accusing Paxton of trying to curry favor with President Trump to possibly gain a pardon.
"Not even Trump's U.S. Attorney General William Barr is willing to entertain Trump's blatant lies and attempts to corrupt our country's 2020 election results or our electoral college process," said Hinojosa.
"Yet, in an effort to make news and potentially gain favor with Trump — who is dishing out presidential pardons to allies — indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is willing to carry Trump's legal water. This is down right wrong and embarrassing for Texans. Joe Biden won this election. Paxton should stop trying to subvert the will of the people and start working to do the job he was elected to do — protecting everyday Texans," concluded Hinojosa.
Click here to read a copy of the filings.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court denied the application for injunctive relief that was filed by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly-R of Pennsylvania. Kelly was seeking to halt Pennsylvania's certification of their election results. Kelly said Pennsylvania needed to amend their constitution if they wanted to change the absentee election procedures in that state.
That case is still on the docket in the United States Supreme Court.
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