The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a bid by outgoing President Donald Trump to usurp a second term in office, an anti-democratic legal campaign that sought to disenfranchise millions of voters across four states he lost in the presidential election that would have sent the union spiraling into chaos.
Trump had asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to intervene in a lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that sought to invalidate votes cast in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin.
The Supreme Court rejected the case wholesale. Two conservative justices — Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas — said they believed the Supreme Court was technically required to allow Texas to file a bill of complaint, but indicated that they would “not grant other relief,” meaning they would not agree to throw the country into chaos.
More than half of Republicans in the House of Representatives as well as 17 Republican state attorneys general joined in the desperate and unprecedented request to overthrow the will of the American people and give Trump another four years.
Millions of Americans will continue to believe conspiracy theories about mass voter fraud and refuse to believe the demonstrable fact that President-elect Joe Biden beat Trump, who has continued to push misinformation about nonexistent mass voter fraud to the American public.
Paxton’s now-rejected complaint alleged that entities other than the state legislatures, like the courts, in the four states in question changed election laws prior to the election. The complaint made the controversial argument that only state legislatures may change election laws (a position with no holding precedent) and therefore the elections in these states should not count. The lawsuit made no mention of the fact that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, and not the state legislature altered election rules unilaterally as well.
Furthermore, the complaint was riddled with falsehoods and unproven conspiracy theories of voter fraud that centered around a bogus statistical analysis that claimed there was only a “1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000” chance of Biden winning the four states.
The lawsuit sought to nullify the election results in these four states and allow the Republican-controlled state legislatures to choose the winner. Trump lost these four states from a low of 0.24% in Georgia to a high of 2.8% in Michigan.
After losing more than 50 post-election lawsuits, Trump called Paxton’s complaint “the big one,” and filed a motion to join the suit. But it died like the rest.
This case, just like Trump’s other lawsuits, wasn’t really meant to succeed. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the four states fingered in Paxton’s complaint, nor is there any evidence in any other state. Just as Trump’s lawyers denied in court that they were alleging voter fraud, Paxton’s complaint contained no specific allegations of voter fraud. The specific, and false, allegations were reserved for arenas where lawyers could not be sanctioned for lying.
The futility of Paxton’s challenge made it more like a political protest rather than an actual legal challenge. This led Republican Party partisans to pile onto the complaint with briefs that read like press releases in order to show their support for Trump, and the party base that loves him, by rejecting the results of a democratic election.
In addition to the 17 Republican attorneys general who filed to support the complaint, 126 Republican House members, or 64% of the party caucus, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), joined in. As did more than three dozen Republican state elected officials in a brief alleging “cabal and oligarchy.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) agreed to argue the case if the court took it up. Conservative activist groups joined with briefs as well. As did right-wing cranks seeking attention, including disgraced Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and the imaginary states of New California and New Nevada.
The states targeted for the nullification of their elections forcefully rejected such allegations in their own briefs. They all noted that prior lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies litigated these matters and state and federal judges found no evidence for the allegations of fraud.
“Texas’s effort to get this Court to pick the next President has no basis in law or fact. The Court should not abide this seditious abuse of the judicial process, and should send a clear and unmistakable signal that such abuse must never be replicated,” Pennsylvania’s brief stated.