Posted by Amy Howe on Wed Dec 9th 2020 6:38 pm
President Donald Trump joined Texas on Wednesday in a final and unprecedented attempt to convince the Supreme Court to postpone voting on the electoral college and prevent four states – Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – from voting for the president-elect Casting Joe Biden won popular votes in every state. Trump argued that in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, election officials in these states “have made systematic efforts to weaken measures to ensure fair and impartial elections”.
Trump, represented only by John Eastman, a law professor at Chapman University, asked for permission to officially intervene in the Texas v Pennsylvania case. In the question, he complained that “almost half of the country believe the elections have been stolen” because he has “obtained almost all historical signs of the success of presidential elections”. As an example, Trump cited his victories in Florida and Ohio, writing that “no candidate in history – Republican or Democrat – has ever lost an election after winning both states.” In 1960 Richard Nixon won both Florida and Ohio, but lost the election to John F. Kennedy.
Trump, whose lawyers have unsuccessfully filed dozens of fraud and irregularity lawsuits in the lower courts, told judges that he does not need to prove fraud occurred in order to prevail. All he has to prove is that the elections in the four states in question “differ materially from the manner in which voters are elected as determined by their respective state legislatures”.
Texas filed its lawsuit against the four states directly with the Supreme Court on Monday. Texas’s attempt to go straight to the Supreme Court instead of going to a lower court is a highly unusual application of what is known as the court’s original jurisdiction, typically used to resolve interstate disputes over borders or water rights.
Trump’s motion to join the case followed a “friend of the court” letter in support of Texas filed with Republican attorneys general by Missouri and 16 other states. They told the judges that Texas “raises serious concerns about the constitutionality and electoral security of electoral processes in the four states,” and they urged the judges to respond quickly to the Texas plea.
A group of prominent Republican attorneys and former senior government officials submitted a “friend of the court” who supported the four states. They told the judges that there were “innumerable” reasons to dismiss the Texas lawsuit, but emphasized one: “The Constitution does not make this court a multi-district litigation panel for judicial proceedings in presidential disputes.” Texas claims, they argued, “mock federalism and the separation of powers.”
Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are expected to file their response to the Texas lawsuit by 3:00 p.m. EST Thursday.
This post was originally published on Howe on the Court.
Amy Howe, Trump seeks election lawsuit in Texas
SCOTUSblog (December 9, 2020, 6:38 pm), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/12/trump-asks-to-enter-texas-election-lawsuit/