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What began as a lawsuit from Texas challenging the 2020 presidential results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin has now grown to informally include at least 18 states, at least 100 House Republicans, and members of the legislative bodies of at least two of the very states that are being targeted by the suit.
On Thursday members of the GOP-led legislatures in both Georgia and Pennsylvania submitted what are called amicus briefs signaling their support for Texas’s suit.
An amicus brief is a document filed in a case by an individual or party who’s not formally part of the case but would like to express support for one of the involved parties. In this case, the GOP-led legislatures in Georgia and Pennsylvania have both chosen to file briefs expressing support for Texas.
Filed by Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler and Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, the amicus brief from the Pa. legislature focuses on alleged improprieties that occurred specifically in the Keystone State because of Act 77.
Act 77, signed into law in October of 2019, granted state residents the right to request an absentee ballot without providing a legitimate reason. According to Cutler and Benninghoff, it’s not Act 77 that was the problem but the added provisions that were later affixed to it thanks to the lobbying efforts of outside parties.
“In October 2019, the Pennsylvania General Assembly took the laudable step of enacting bipartisan legislation, Act 77, which allowed, for the first time, all qualified electors to vote by mail without requiring them to show their absence from the voting district,” the amicus brief reads.
“This expansion of voting options was balanced with preexisting safeguards to protect the integrity of the voting process.”
However, the brief continues, “other actors have” since “used COVID-19 as a pretext to eviscerate the election integrity provisions of the Commonwealth’s Election Code, such that the administration of the 2020 General Election bore no resemblance to the carefully-considered procedures enacted by the General Assembly.”
View the brief below:
Another brief filed Thursday by 15 Georgia Senate and 12 Georgia House members likewise focuses specifically on the improprieties seen in the Peach State.
According to the brief, the alleged improprieties in Georgia are the result of actions taken by the Georgia Election Board and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
The brief accuses both — particularly Raffensperger — of allowing themselves to be bullied by Democrat Stacey Abrams into modifying the state’s election procedures to effectively benefit Democrats.
“Prior to the 2020 Presidential Election, the Board and Secretary of State promulgated regulations and altered election procedures pursuant to a Settlement with Democratic entities. These altered procedures were not subsequently ratified by the Georgia General Assembly, and were actually in conflict with the election laws enacted by the General Assembly,” the brief reads.
“The unauthorized modifications of Georgia law, coupled with the lax enforcement of the Georgia Election Code, likely resulted in tens of thousands of illegal votes, which probably altered the Presidential Election.”
View the brief below:
On Thursday, 106 congressional House Republicans reportedly filed their own brief expressing support for Texas, including House Minority Whip Steve Scalise but not including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
The gist of their argument is that though the rules for a state’s election ought to be determined by a state’s legislature, as per the U.S. Constitution, “in the months before the 2020 election, those rules were deliberately changed” in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin “by both state and non-state actors.”
“The clear authority of those state legislatures to determine the rules for appointing electors was usurped at various times by governors, secretaries of state, election
officials, state courts, federal courts, and private parties,” it reads.
Thus, the brief continues, the 106 House Republicans “respectfully request” that the Supreme Court intervene by delegating the authority of choosing state electors back to the states’ respective legislatures, in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.
Since each state’s legislature is run by the GOP, this would therefore lead to the appointment of Trump electors and thus President Donald Trump’s reelection.
View the brief below:
To be clear, as of Friday only six states had formally joined the lawsuit. The rest of the states and parties had merely filed amicus briefs expressing their support.
“Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Utah have formally joined Texas in its Supreme Court suit against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—four battleground states who ran illegal and unconstitutional elections,” a press release published Thursday by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reads.
“The joining states agree with Texas: the defendant states exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify unlawfully enacting last-minute changes and ignoring both federal and state election laws, thus skewing the results of the 2020 General Election.”
Texas continues to lead the fight to protect election security and integrity, and today I gladly welcome Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah to this historic endeavor.https://t.co/0cDYvIeu26
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) December 10, 2020
The opposing side — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — have their supporters as well.
On Thursday an estimated 23 states and territories filed their own amicus brief against Texas, arguing that a ruling in the Lone Star State’s favor “would upend a century’s worth of this Court’s precedent; render unconstitutional routine and critical election administration, and supplant states’ sovereign power to structure their own systems of government.”
View that brief below:
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