The absolutely absurd nature of Texas’ request that the Supreme Court reverse the election results in four battleground states has not stopped the Trump campaign or more than a dozen other Republican state attorneys general from supporting the gambit.
On Wednesday, the campaign, as well 17 red states, formally indicated their support of the lawsuit, which seeks to reverse President Trump’s defeat in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin and Michigan. Texas claims that because those states adjusted their election practices for the pandemic without explicit approval from their legislatures, the legislatures — all Republican — should be allowed to appoint their own electors to the Electoral College.
The Trump campaign filed on Wednesday a request with the Supreme Court to intervene in the case. Among the pieces of evidence the campaign cites to suggest the election was suspect is the claim that no other candidate before Trump had won Florida and Ohio while still losing the election. (In fact, John Kennedy won the 1960 election despite Richard Nixon winning those two states.)
The lead attorney on the filing, Chapman University School of Law professor John Eastman, is a far-right lawyer who earlier this year argued that Kamala Harris, as the daughter of immigrants, may not be eligible to be vice president.
The 17 red states, meanwhile, filed a so-called “friend of the court” (or “amicus”) brief that floated several previously debunked claims about mail-in voting. Ironically, election officials in many of the amici states made similar adjustments to voting that the GOP attorneys general now say warrant the tossing of the results in the four states that Texas is targeting.
The state attorneys general supporting Texas are from Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.
In a season of post-election lawsuits of escalating silliness in their claims, Texas’ complaint stands out. It includes conspiracy theories of election officials supposedly using suitcases to smuggle in extra ballots, while making bizarre claims of voting machine tampering that have already been dismissed by Department of Homeland Security’s cyber arm and other security experts throughout the election community.
The Supreme Court has the authority to adjudicate certain legal disputes between states, but Texas will need to get the court’s permission to actually file the lawsuit, and it has also requested that if the court does review the complaint, it do so in expedited manner.
Trump’s supporters have put much of their hope on the Texas case now that the Supreme Court has rejected a bid by Pennsylvania Republicans to reverse the election results there.
Trump on Wednesday morning called the Texas lawsuit the “big one” as he tweeted about his plans to intervene in it.
The court has asked the four battleground states to respond by 3 p.m. Thursday to Texas’ various request.