Bigger than Texas: Cowboy state’s long-shot court bid to rescue Trump

The state of Texas has asked the US Supreme Court to throw out the voting results in four other states in a long-shot legal gambit intended to help President Donald Trump upend his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden.

(Photo: AP)

(Photo: AP)

Officials from the four states – Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – called the lawsuit a reckless attack on democracy while legal experts gave it little chance to succeed. It was filed directly with the Supreme Court, as is permitted for certain litigation between states.

The lawsuit, announced by the Republican Attorney-General of Texas Ken Paxton, targeted battleground states that Trump lost to Biden after winning them in 2016. The Republican president has falsely claimed he won re-election and has made baseless allegations of widespread voting fraud.

Professor Paul Smith at Georgetown University’s law school said Texas did not have a legitimate basis for the suit, saying “there is no possible way” it had standing to complain about voting in other states.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series brought by the Republican president’s campaign and supporters intended to reverse his loss to Democrat Biden in the November 3 election. Those efforts have failed.

In another case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a bid by Pennsylvania Republicans to block the state from formalising Biden’s victory there.

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The Texas suit argues that changes made by the four states to voting procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic to expand mail-in voting were unlawful. Texas wants the Supreme Court to immediately block the four states from using the voting results to appoint presidential electors to the electoral college, essentially erasing the will of the voters.

Biden has amassed 306 electoral votes – exceeding the necessary 270 – compared with Trump’s 232 in the electoral college that determines the election’s outcome, while also winning the popular vote by more than seven million votes. The four states contribute a combined 62 electoral votes to Biden’s total.

Texas wants the legislatures in the four states to appoint their own slate of electors.


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