CNN host Jake Tapper and guests raged against a lawsuit filed by Texas and enjoined by 16 other states challenging the election results in four battleground states, calling it “garbage” while accusing Republicans who back it of being “seditious.”
“I’m stunned,” Tapper said, as he brought on legal analyst Laura Coates. “More than half of the Republicans in the House have signed on to this lawsuit that legal experts, conservative legal experts have said is a ‘garbage’ lawsuit, ‘insane,’ would ‘set horrific precedents.’ What do you make of this?”
Coates responded by saying she agreed with Tapper’s characterizations, going on to describe the lawsuit against Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin as a “political” battle, not a constitutional question.
“It’s so completely counter to common sense what is happening. The Supreme Court doesn’t want to weigh in on a political matter where there hasn’t been some real basis for them to hear it, where a state that says even if we’re not affected by it we want to lodge a complaint after we see the outcome and only after our person is bringing the lawsuit,” she said.
Coates then suggested that the suit was brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), who is currently under indictment, as a way to get in President Donald Trump’s good graces so he’ll pardon him — though Paxton pushed back against such accusations.
“It’s absurd,” Coates added. “And January 7 or whenever the Congress is going to meet to try to count these electoral votes, and they have a chance to object to them. You’re seeing a preview of that political theater on full display that’s going to most assuredly be the case now.”
“It’s just absolutely undemocratic. It is seditious,” Tapper then asserted.
In its lawsuit, Texas and the other states claim that changes made to voting rules and procedures by the targeted states were illegal and unconstitutional, therefore the results are “tainted.”
Under the Constitution, only state legislatures are permitted to make changes to election laws and voting procedures, not secretaries of state or state courts, as was the case in each of the four defendant states. Therefore, Texas argues, the outcomes of the presidential election in each of those states cannot be counted.
The Kraken Caucus — 106 House Republicans (and 18 state attorneys general) who signed onto a anti-democracy lawsuit to disenfranchise millions of their fellow Americans, based on lies and conspiracy theories. https://t.co/kqECtVRY55
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) December 10, 2020
The lawsuit asks the U.S. Supreme Court to instruct each of the defendant states to toss out the election results and task their respective legislators to choose their presidential electors, per Article II of the Constitution.
Nevertheless, the CNN panel pushed back against the notion that there is a legitimate federal question to be answered in the case.
“That’s why you’re even seeing Texas lawmakers saying they can’t get behind this,” CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins said.
“But even if you do agree about the questions of mail-in voting and other allegations, of course, the president has raised often baselessly, they say federalism is a thing here,” she added.
“And having Texas sue another state for the way they are running their elections, and of course they’re only suing states that Donald Trump lost in is their problem here. So even some of those conservative, very conservative Texas lawmakers are refusing to get behind this,” Collins continued.
“But what the president can now do and why he obviously instructed Mike Johnson to go and get these Republicans to sign-on is now he can say look how many Republicans are behind me on this,” Collins went on. “So he can use that to continue with his push — his baseless push that this was a rigged election.”
“Well, it works the other way, too,” an angry Tapper responded. “These members of Congress and these attorneys general, they’re going to be forever associated with this crap, with this insane, un-American, undemocratic lawsuit.”
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