‘The big one’ goes down in glorious flames

It is hard to identify which of the around 50 failed lawsuits filed to try and overturn the US presidential elections is the worst. But the one that most reveals the utterly cynical depths to which the Republican Party has sunk is the lawsuit that the Texas attorney general filed with the US Supreme Court that was joined by 18 other Republican state attorneys general and 127 members of the Houser of Representatives. Trump touted it as ‘the big one’, as if all the others were practice runs and that this would succeed where all the others had failed.

But the big one turned out to be a big bust because it was tossed out yesterday by the Supreme Court.

The US Supreme Court has rejected an unprecedented attempt to throw out election results in four battleground states that was backed by President Donald Trump.

The lawsuit, filed this week by the state of Texas, sought to invalidate results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

President-elect Joe Biden won all four.

The lawsuit was supported by 19 state attorneys general and 127 Republican members of Congress.

But the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that Texas did not have legal standing to bring the case, in a brief order rejecting the bid.

“Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognisable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections,” the court said.

The ruling was slightly longer than the one-sentence “motion denied” response in a Pennsylvania case earlier this week. Two of the nine Supreme Court justices wouldn’t have dismissed the lawsuit outright. But even they would not express a view on whether Texas’s attempt to throw out millions of votes and effectively hand the presidency to Mr Trump had merit.

The implications of this challenge, however, are unlikely to quickly fade away. Eighteen states and more than 100 Republicans in Congress endorsed discarding the results of the election and putting the White House in the hands of state legislatures.

That is something Democrats – and the history books – won’t soon forget.

The idea of standing is that you can only bring a lawsuit if you have directly suffered some injury and the courts are in a position to rectify it. You could have seen this result coming a mile away. The idea that Texas suffered an injury due to the results of four other states was always a preposterous claim because if one state can challenge the elections of another state, then all hell breaks loose. The ruling by the Supreme Court stated “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another site conducts its elections” which is legal-speak telling Texas to mind its own damn business.

But what is so disturbing is that even though this outcome was utterly predictable, the attorneys general of 19 states, people who are supposed to know the law and enforce it, were willing to put their names to something that they had to have known would have absolutely no chance of success. And to add to that, 127 members of the House of Representatives and the leader of their party Kevin McCarthy were willing to also go along.

Why? Because they all want to suck up to Trump. Ken Paxton, the Texas AG who initiated this lawsuit, has himself been indicted on felony security fraud charges. He has also been accused of bribery and abuse of office by his own senior aides.

Top aides of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have asked federal law enforcement authorities to investigate allegations of improper influence, abuse of office, bribery and other potential crimes against the state’s top lawyer.

In a one-page letter to the state agency’s director of human resources, obtained Saturday by the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV, seven executives in the upper tiers of the office said that they are seeking the investigation into Paxton “in his official capacity as the current Attorney General of Texas.”

The Thursday letter said that each “has knowledge of facts relevant to these potential offenses and has provided statements concerning those facts to the appropriate law enforcement.”

Their decisions to report possible illegal activity involving their employer represents a stunning development in an agency that prizes loyalty, particularly from within Paxton’s inner circle. It places a renewed spotlight on Paxton, who is already under indictment for alleged securities fraud.

As even Republican senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska suggested, this may be Paxton’s way of sucking up to Trump to get a pardon for at least the federal charges that are being pursued against him.

What a crew.


  1. says

    Arrest and charge them all so they have to vacate their seats until the trial is over, replacing them in by elections. It’s what republiclowns would do..

  2. DonDueed says

    Crip Dyke has a good post up about the Alito/Thomas dissent. It was on technical grounds — those two justices hold the dubious and decidedly minority opinion that SCOTUS is obligated to hear any case brought by one state against another.

    But even the dissenters stated that they wouldn’t grant the desired “relief” — which would include an immediate hearing and an injunction to prevent the electors of those four states from voting before the case was decided. So either way, Biden would be elected President on Monday.

  3. Owlmirror says

    “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognisable interest

    Does the BBC usually alter US spelling to British/Commonwealth spelling (cognizable → cognisable), in quoted lines, I wonder?

    Hm, do US periodicals alter British to US spelling in the same circumstances?

  4. bmiller says

    The United States continues its slide into “failed state” status, sad to say. Heck, even after a (U.S. sponsored) coup, BOLIVIA of all places was able to hold a clean and well-run election!

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