The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a devastating blow to President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election on Friday, rejecting a Texas-led lawsuit demanding that the results of key battleground states be ignored and that the states instead hand their electoral votes to Trump.
Trump had previously touted the case as “the big one.”
The court’s order marks the second time this week that Republican demands that the Supreme Court directly intervene in the election have been rebuffed after the justices turned down a similar appeal from the Pennsylvania GOP on Tuesday.
The Texas lawsuit, spearheaded by state Attorney General Ken Paxton, sought to drag Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to court for altering their election laws prior to Election Day, which Texas argued violated those states’ own laws. The lawsuit also claimed that Biden’s chances of victory were “less than one in a quadrillion,” despite the fact that he won some seven million more votes than Trump.
The proposal contained in the Texas lawsuit was an extreme longshot, as no state has ever nullified its own election results on the demands of another state.
Texas, however, argued that to do otherwise meant that those states would “cement a potentially illegitimate election result.”
The quickly garnered significant support among some conservatives, with multiple red states’ attorneys general and 126 of 196 Republicans in the U.S. House backing the effort despite many admitting that the strategy would fail, since Texas lacked any authority to claim injury or the disenfranchisement of its own voters due to other states’ electoral procedures.
“Texas has not suffered harm simply because it dislikes the result of the election, and nothing in the text, history, or structure of the Constitution supports Texas’s view that it can dictate the manner in which four other states run their elections,” Pennsylvania argued.
Other key swing states noted that to entertain the merits of Texas’ lawsuit would invite a storm of future lawsuits in other federal elections, essentially putting future elections at the mercy of partisan lawfare.
“Texas proposes an extraordinary intrusion into Wisconsin’s and the other defendant states’ elections, a task that the Constitution leaves to each state,” the state of Wisconsin said in its own response. “Wisconsin has conducted its election and its voters have chosen a winning candidate for their state. Texas’s bid to nullify that choice is devoid of a legal foundation or a factual basis.”
On Friday afternoon, the Supreme Court said that it would not even consider the lawsuit, which was riddled with a number of legal and factual shortcomings.
The rejection comes just one day after a legal filing from a group of conservative lawmakers and legal scholars denounced the Texas lawsuit as “a mockery of federalism and separation of powers.” The filing surely found a sympathetic audience among even the most conservative Supreme Court justices, as its list of signatories includes former Sen. John Danforth (R–Mo.), University of St. Thomas law professor Michael Stokes Paulsen, former Department of Homeland Security official Paul Rosenzweig, and Princeton University legal scholar Keith E. Whittington.
The Supreme Court rejection of the Texas lawsuit is likely to be the death knell for Trump’s failing attempts to legally challenge Biden’s electoral victory. Trump’s own realization that he lacks a clear path to holding onto office was clear on Friday morning, when he acknowledged in a tweet that he would be succeeded by a “Biden Administration.”
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