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President Donald Trump has not only joined Texas’s lawsuit against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, but he’s also reportedly asked his former 2016 primary opponent, Sen. Ted Cruz, to personally argue the case.
“President Trump asked Senator Ted Cruz on Tuesday night if he would be willing to argue a case filed by the Texas attorney general seeking to invalidate the election results in states like Pennsylvania in the event that it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court,” The New York Times reported Wednesday, citing anonymous sources.
According to the Times‘ sources, Cruz agreed.
However, neither the president nor Cruz has spoken or tweeted anything yet suggesting that the Texas senator intends to actually argue the case.
The Times‘ report comes as the president and at least 18 states have joined the suit, with the president tweeting Wednesday that the suit is “the big one.”
We will be INTERVENING in the Texas (plus many other states) case. This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2020
Listed below are all 18 states that have joined the suit:
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Here’s a map of the states, sans Arizona, which joined late:
Texas and their 17 supporting states vs the 4 state elections they are challenging pic.twitter.com/1ZLspCiSXs
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) December 9, 2020
“Today we filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Texas v. Pennsylvania. It’s important that everyone has faith in the system and the results of the election. The rule of law is about consistency and certainty,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced in a statement Wednesday evening.
Our Office has received many inquiries about the Texas v. Pennsylvania lawsuit filed at the U.S. Supreme Court and whether Arizona will participate. Here is my statement and our legal filing: https://t.co/82qIu1lQ5B pic.twitter.com/tRY6c6lTJl
— Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich) December 9, 2020
The question now is whether the suit stands a chance in hell of making a dent. Conventional wisdom says that no, it’s doomed to failure from the onset.
Even attorney Andrew C. McCarthy, one of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s toughest critics, believes the suit is headed nowhere and described it as “frivolous” in a National Review column published Wednesday afternoon.
But one of the attorneys general who’ve joined the suit, Missouri AG Eric Schmitt, pushed back on this argument late Wednesday on Fox News’ “The Story.”
Speaking with host Martha MacCallum, he said in effect that it’s not frivolous to demand “every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is not counted.”
“If we don’t do that, if we don’t arrogate that responsibility, we disenfranchise millions of voters, including voters in Missouri, including voters in Texas and other places,” he said.
The suit by Texas specifically accuses Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin of violating the Constitution’s Electors Clause, which states that only state legislators may institute rules pertaining to the appointment of electors.
“By ignoring both state and federal law, these states have not only tainted the integrity of their own citizens’ vote but of Texas and every other state that held lawful elections,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said earlier in the week.
“Their failure to abide by the rule of law casts a dark shadow of doubt over the outcome of the entire election. We now ask that the Supreme Court step in to correct this egregious error.”
As an example of such a violation, Schmitt described how Pennsylvania had tried expanding mail-in balloting with fair and just safeguards, only to have the Pennsylvania Supreme Court jump in and make the balloting grossly unfair and unsafe.
“Pennsylvania says we are going to expand mail-in voting, but an important safeguard is that all ballots are counted on Election Day,” he explained.
“But the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said well, we don’t actually believe that — you can count them three days after, even if they aren’t postmarked on Election Day. We’ll assume they were cast or mailed on Election Day. That’s not what the legislature designated.”
Indeed it’s not, ergo why the suit isn’t “frivolous,” according to not only Schmitt but legal scholar Jonathan Turley as well.
A professor of George Washington University Law School who participated in the impeachments of both former President Bill Clinton and current President Donald Trump, Turley also pushed back on claims that Texas’s suit is “ridiculous,” as others have described it.
“These are not frivolous concerns. And certainly, they are important going forward. We do know that there were illegal orders given. We do know that there were votes negated. We do know that there were votes not counted,” he told MacCallum.
He cautioned, however, that the suit is still “unlikely to succeed” because of the specific relief sought by Texas — “relief that would effectively negate the certification of millions of votes.”
“It doesn’t help,” he added, that not a single Supreme Court justice dissented when the court turned down Rep. Mike Kelly’s case earlier this week.
This is the Supreme Court order denying the request by Rep. @MikeKellyPA and others to invalidate Pennsylvania’s presidential election. That’s the whole thing. It was denied by the full court with no public dissents. pic.twitter.com/aTqC9oNuj3
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) December 8, 2020
“There was not a single dissenting vote. You are going to need five justices [for Texas’s lawsuit]. You could lose Chief Justice Roberts, but you’ve got to bring along all five of the other conservative justices,” Turley noted.
Indeed, and the chances of that happening are increasingly slim, though not impossible.
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