A long-shot Supreme Court lawsuit from Texas against four states key in the November 3 election gave President Donald Trump fresh hope of stalling if not overturning Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.
Texas – a state Trump won – lodged the suit late Tuesday against Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, challenging Biden’s victory in each of the four.
The suit was seen as audacious and legally doubtful, given that no one state has any legal right to interfere in another’s election processes.
Texas alleged that the results in the other four states were “unconstitutional” because of their heavy use of “fraud-prone” mail-in votes during the coronavirus pandemic.
It offered no proof of significant fraud, and it didn’t challenge the use of mailed ballots in states Trump won.
The suit cited numerous alleged examples of potential fraud already repeatedly rejected by courts in dozens of Trump campaign cases.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the Supreme Court to quickly freeze the process by which state vote counts are translated into electors at the Electoral College, the members of which will affirm the presidential winner on December 14.
Absent the court’s intervention, Paxton’s complaint said, confirming Biden’s victory will have the result of “tainting the election and the future of free elections.”
The move was endorsed by 17 other states won by Trump, and by Trump himself, who submitted his own request to the court to take part.
“There is massive evidence of widespread fraud in the four states (plus) mentioned in the Texas suit. Just look at all of the tapes and affidavits!” the president tweeted.
“This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!” he wrote.
The lawsuit came as all 50 states plus Washington, DC, have formally certified their vote tallies, opening the way to convene the Electoral College in five days.
There is no doubt that Biden won the presidency, having snagged 51.3 percent of the ballots compared with Trump’s 46.9 percent, a seven-million-vote margin.
The state-by-state wins gave Biden 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.
The suit was widely panned by legal experts as groundless and unconstitutional, a case of one state seeking to disenfranchise voters in other states.
Rick Hasen, a legal scholar at University of California, Irvine called it “the dumbest case I’ve ever seen” and “dangerous garbage.” Texas “has no say over how other states choose electors,” he said, and said the state waited far too long to lodge the suit.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel called it “a publicity stunt, not a serious legal pleading” by her Texas counterpart.
Some called it an act of desperation by Paxton, who himself is under investigation by the FBI and could use Trump’s help.