They are calling on the Supreme Court to issue an emergency order to nullify the votes of millions of voters in four battlefield states – Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania – although there is no evidence of widespread fraud.
Critics of the president and his allies say the case reflects a bold and questionable maneuver from a legal standpoint to keep lawsuits flowing in order to prolong baseless claims that President-elect Joe Biden’s victory was somehow illegitimate.
What do Republicans want?
Basically, the election is swinging for Trump.
They are calling on the court to block voters from Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, pushing Biden back by 270 votes to win.
First, the court should allow Paxton to bring the case. Then the court must block certification of the Electoral College vote, determine that the four states allowed massive amounts of “illegal” votes, and require states to reconsider their vote count and then resubmit the numbers. The court could also, as Trump’s dossier suggests, allow state legislatures to determine who wins each state or throw the entire election to the U.S. House of Representatives, where each state delegation would have one vote – and since Republican delegations outnumbered Democratic delegations, Trump would win. .
Is there a precedent?
“In short, the president is asking the Supreme Court to exercise its rarest form of jurisdiction to effectively annul the entire presidential election,” said Steve Vladik, a CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor of Law School at the University of Texas.
The Supreme Court has 6 governors. Does this guarantee Trump’s victory?
No. The court has so far not shown any desire to interfere in the presidential elections.
On Tuesday, she rejected a call from Pennsylvania Republicans to nullify the state’s presidential numbers. It issued one sentence and did not register any opposition. (Judges don’t always have to make their voices public.)
Trump has indicated publicly that he hopes his two candidates – Amy Cooney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch – will align himself with him in any electoral dispute. Conservative judges Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito are also worth seeing. No justice required to remove himself or herself from the conflict; Barrett, in particular, did not give herself up in the Pennsylvania lawsuit.
When will we hear from the court?
They are “meeting” on Friday for their regular conference, which is now taking place by phone.
Unlike the traditional petition for testimony (a request to the court to hear a case), it would take five judges to agree to allow Paxton to file his case.
If the court refuses to file the lawsuit, this is yet another nail in the coffin of Trump’s hopes of reversing his election loss.
If you act the other way, it will be another dramatic turnaround unprecedented in the 2020 election, ensuring the president continues to challenge Biden’s victory.
What was the original jurisdiction?
Paxton is seeking to file a lawsuit against other states, and in such cases he is permitted to appear directly in the Supreme Court
The so-called “original jurisdiction” issues are almost exclusively intended to deal with disputes between states that cannot be resolved elsewhere, such as border disputes or claims over water rights.
When Trump requests to intervene in the lawsuit, he is basically using Texas legal coats.
But while Texas uses the abbreviation for the Supreme Court, judges will have to agree that it cannot be resolved in other courts – for example, the federal or state courts.
“There is nothing unique about the Texas allegations here, most of which have already been filed in other lawsuits against the same four states,” Vladek said, indicating that if Trump and other states joined, this suggestion that the Texas case is unique might weaken.
Judges may be wary of opening the door wide open to all the political disputes between states that end up on their agenda.
Benjamin Ginsberg, a longtime Republican election law expert and a contributor to CNN, told CNN on Wednesday that he does not believe the court “for a moment” will look into the case.
Ginsberg said the Republican Party “used to be a party for the rights of states.” “I cannot imagine anything less faithful to state rights than the Texas attorney general’s attempt to tell other countries how to conduct their elections.”
Senator John Cornyn, the senior Republican from Texas, told CNN, “I’m honestly struggling to understand its legal theory. First, why might a country, even a great state like Texas, have an opinion of how other countries are running their elections? It is dispersed, and although we may not like it, they may think it is unfair, and that is determined at the state and local levels, not the national level. “
What evidence do Trump and the Republicans have?
The lawsuit includes many of the same allegations that state and federal courts have repeatedly rejected over the past month regarding alleged voter fraud and the legality of mail balloting.
“By using the Covid-19 pandemic as a justification,” Paxton wrote, officials in the conflicting states “usurped the authority of their legislatures and unconstitutionally revising the election laws in their states.” He said they did so with an “executive order.” He specifically referred to the mail ballot papers, which he said were placed “in deposit boxes” with “little or no chain of custody,” which weakened signature verification and witness requirements, and which he described as “the strongest security measures to protect the integrity of the vote.”
The president has made for weeks increasingly desperate pleas and unfounded conspiracy theories about the theft of his second term.
“Our country is deeply divided in ways that arguably have not been seen since the election in 1860,” Trump suggested intervention. “There is a high level of distrust between the opposing parties, compounded by the fact that in the elections just held, election officials in the major swing states, apparently to a partisan advantage, failed to conduct state elections in accordance with state election law.”
Seventeen states led by the Republican Party are aligned with Texas and the President: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.
Who are Trump’s new lawyers?
The president’s campaign was represented by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and attorney Gina Ellis. But in the current proposal, Trump is represented by John Eastman.
Jake Taber, Christine Wilson, Manu Raju and Daniela Diaz of CNN contributed to this report.