The United States Supreme Court on Friday rejected an offer tabled by Texas and backed by President Donald Trump in an attempt to undo Joe Biden’s election victories in key swing states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The ruling dealt a death blow to Trump’s desperate and unsuccessful efforts to undo Biden’s planned victory at the electoral college. It took three days for voters to cast their ballots in their respective states and for Biden’s victory to be finalized.
Suffrage experts said from the start that the lawsuit is unlikely to succeed. But Trump, who himself had applied to intervene in the case, had hyped Paxton’s lawsuit as “the big one”.
The court on Friday denied Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s attempt to file the lawsuit against the four battlefield states. The judges said Paxton didn’t have reasons to sue the other states over changes they made to their voting procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Texas state’s application for permission to file a notice of appeal is denied due to a lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution,” the court said.
“Texas has shown no judicial interest in the way any other state conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as in dispute.”
“The Supreme Court really let us down,” Trump tweeted late Friday night. “No wisdom, no courage!”
Trump, who appointed three judges to the nine-member court, had said ahead of the November 3rd election that he believed the Supreme Court would ultimately decide the race.
“I think it is very important that we have nine judges,” Trump said shortly after the death of the liberal judiciary Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September.
Biden spokesman Mike Gwin said in a statement on Friday evening that the court had “decided and quickly rejected the recent attack by Donald Trump and his allies on the democratic process.”
“This is no surprise – dozens of judges, election officials from both parties and Trump’s own attorney general have rejected his baseless attempts to deny that he lost the election,” said Gwin. “The clear and authoritative victory of President-elect Biden will be confirmed by the electoral college on Monday and sworn in on January 20th.”
The Texas lawsuit asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the election results of the four battlefield states by stating that their votes “cannot be counted” in the electoral college.
Biden’s victories in the four states, which together had 62 votes, had brought him over the 270-vote threshold required to secure the presidency. Biden is expected to win 306 votes, compared to 232 for Trump.
If Texas had won the lawsuit, it would have canceled Biden’s victory.
Two of the most conservative Supreme Court justices, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, said in brief disagreement that they allowed Paxton’s lawsuit to be filed, but added that they would “grant no other relief” requested in the case .
“In my view, there is no discretion to refuse to file a notice of appeal in a case that falls within our original jurisdiction,” Alito wrote in a statement backed by Thomas. “I would therefore grant the request to file the notice of appeal, but would not grant any other relief, and I do not express an opinion on any other subject.”
More than a dozen states in which Trump won the referendum filed briefs in support of Texas’s action. More than 120 Republican members of Congress, including House Minority Chairman Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Filed similar Friend of the Court letters shortly thereafter.
But about two dozen states and territories that Biden had won filed their own pleadings against the Texas appeal.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., In a damning letter from her dear colleague on Friday afternoon, accused the Republicans of supporting the case of “electoral subversion that threatens our democracy”.
“This lawsuit is an act of GOP desperation that violates the principles enshrined in our American democracy,” wrote Pelosi.
“As members of Congress, we take a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution,” her letter said. “The Republicans are undermining the Constitution through their ruthless and fruitless assault on our democracy, which threatens to seriously undermine public confidence in our most sacred democratic institutions and slow our progress on the urgent challenges ahead.”
Rudy Giuliani, the attorney who spearheaded Trump’s efforts to reverse Biden’s victory through legal proceedings, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska who has clashed with Trump, said in a statement that the Supreme Court has finally “closed the book on the nonsense.”
“Since election night, a lot of people have puzzled voters by turning the Kenyan birther guy. ‘Chavez carved the election out of the grave conspiracy theories,’ but any rule of law American should take comfort that the Colonel The court – including all three tips from President Trump – closed the book on the nonsense, “he said.
Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel, who represented her state against Paxton’s lawsuit, said the ruling was “an important reminder that we are a nation of laws, and while some may bow to the wishes of a single person, they will.” Courts don’t do this. “
NBC News legal analyst Benjamin Wittes noted that while Alito and Thomas opposed the decision, they likely would have opposed it on the matter.