A Guide To Who Wants SCOTUS To Destroy Democracy For Trump And Who Doesn’t

Supporters of US President Donald Trump rally at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on November 14, 2020. - Supporters are backing Trump's claim that the November 3 election was fraudulent. (Photo by Olivier DOU... Supporters of US President Donald Trump rally at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on November 14, 2020. - Supporters are backing Trump's claim that the November 3 election was fraudulent. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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December 11, 2020 4:55 p.m.

The latest litmus test for any Trump-loving Republican is whether you back an outrageous lawsuit Texas has sought to file in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that Joe Biden’s wins in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan should be tossed out.

Despite the many prominent conservative legal commentators expressing disgust for Texas’ claims, more than a dozen GOP state attorneys general have offered their formal support of the case, as has two-thirds of the Republican House conference.

Here is a look at who is getting involved and what they’re arguing.

Sure, Let’s Overturn The Election.

Texas: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — who, it just so happens, could really benefit from a presidential pardon right about now — spearheaded the Hail Mary crusade. He’s asking the Supreme Court to review his challenge to Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia’s election results on the theory that pandemic-related adjustments they made to their voting policies were unconstitutional because they were not explicitly authorized by their legislatures. The court should let those states’ legislatures — which, coincidentally, are all controlled by Republicans — pick the electors they want to send to the Electoral College, Texas argues.

Trump Campaign: The Trump campaign, not surprisingly, is in favor of the lawsuit, and has asked the court to let it intervene directly in the case. Trump has called the Texas case the ‘big one.”

At Least 18 Republican State Attorneys General: An amicus (or “friend of the court”) brief supportive of Texas submitted by 17 GOP state attorneys general was the first sign that backing the lawsuit was becoming a badge of a Republican politician’s support for Trump. Those states are Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia, and Alaska has since asked to join them. Meanwhile, six of those states took it a step further and asked the court to let them intervene in the case.

Roy Moore: The former Alabama state Supreme Court Justice, whose Senate run was torpedoed by allegations of improper relations with teenage girls, was quick to give his full-throated support to Texas. His amicus brief claims that any no-excuse early or mail-in voting is unconstitutional.

126 House Republicans: About two-thirds of the House Republican conference has signed on to an amicus brief urging the court to block the election results in the four battleground states. Signatories include House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise, and Rep. Tom Emmer, who chairs House Republicans’ campaign arm. They’ve been labeled the “Kraken caucus.”

“New California” and “New Nevada”: The appeal of supporting Trump in his anti-democratic bid is so great that states that don’t even exist yet have jumped into the fight. A lawyer who has been leading a fringe movement to break off rural communities from California and Nevada filed an amicus brief backing Texas on behalf of “New California” and “New Nevada.”

Pennsylvania state Republican lawmakers: An amicus brief submitted by the Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania House stops just short of arguing for the reversal of Biden’s win in the state; the lawmakers say they have “no position” on the remedies Texas seeks. But they’re very interested in pushing forward the argument that state courts and election officials acted unconstitutionally in adapting the state’s voting practices to the state. Briefs by others groups of Trump-loving members of the Pennsylvania legislature make similar arguments.

Well Let’s Not Overturn *This* Election, But Texas Makes Some Good Points

Ohio: Ohio Attorney General David Yost’s amicus brief is walking a very fine line. On the one hand, he does not support the Supreme Court reversing the results in the four targeted states that Biden won. But Ohio does want, as a quickly as possible, a Supreme Court decision backing Texas’ underlying argument: that only legislatures can make changes to how states elections are carried out.

This Is Nuts.

The Targeted Biden-Supporting States: The states whose results Texas is challenging did not mince words when describing how ludicrous the lawsuit was. Pennsylvania said Texas was engaged in a “seditious abuse of the judicial process.” The lawsuit was “devoid of a legal foundation or a factual basis,” Wisconsin said. Michigan said Texas wanted to “disenfranchise millions of Michigan voters in favor of the preferences of a handful of people who appear to be disappointed with the official results.” Georgia accused Texas of parroting false arguments that have been already rejected in court.

Blue States And Jurisdictions: Nearly two-dozen attorneys general from blue states and jurisdictions joined together in an amicus brief opposing Texas. “There is no evidence” that mail voting threatened election integrity, the brief said, and Texas’ legal arguments “undermine our federalist system.”

Montana Gov. Bullock: A Democratic governor of a state that elected Trump, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock had an interesting point to make in his amicus brief: Montana made tweaks to its election rules similar to the ones Texas finds objectionable in the states that Biden won. Yet Texas chose not to include Montana as a defendant, “underscoring, of course, that this action is less about election integrity than it is about attempting to overturn the will of the electorate,” Bullock said.

Detroit: The City of Detroit filed its own amicus brief to pick apart Texas’ bogus claims about how the election was administered there. The claims had already been rejected by courts in Michigan, and restating them here, “does not make them any more credible or more worthy of relief,” the brief said.

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