·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Lawsuits & Litigation

Attorneys General in Battleground States Tell Texas to Keep Its Nose Out of Their Business

— December 11, 2020

One attorney general called Texas’s attempts to discard millions of legally-cast ballots “Faustian.”

The attorneys general of Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have asked the Supreme Court to dismiss and denounce a Republican-led lawsuit seeking to overturn President-Elect Joe Biden’s electoral victories in the same four states.

According to The New York Times, the lawsuit was first field by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. It has since garnered significant conservative support—Paxton has received the backing of 17 other Republican attorneys general, along with 106 right-wing members of the national Congress.

While Paxton’s suit is not expected to succeed, the Texas attorney general is nonetheless echoing a number of unsubstantiated claims made by none other than President Donald Trump himself.

Paxton has, for instance, alleged that Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania illegally enacted a number of measures that facilitated voter fraud.

Interestingly, the backlash to Paxton’s suit is bipartisan—while three of the four states targeted in his complaint are defended by Democratic attorneys general, Georgia’s A.G. is also a Republican.

A 2013 image of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Image via Wikimedia Commons/user:Alice Linahan Voices Empower. (CCA-BY-2.0).

In one of the submitted briefs, Pennsylvania plainly accused Paxton of trying to override American democracy in President Trump’s favor.

“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,” the brief said.

“Let us be clear,” it added. “Texas invites this court to overthrow the votes of the American people and choose the next president of the United States. That Faustian invitation must be firmly rejected.”

Georgia Attorney General Christopher M. Carr, a Republican, emphasized his state’s rights to conduct safe elections in the manner of its choosing.

“This election cycle, Georgia did what the Constitution empowered it to do: it implemented processes for the election, administered the election in the face of logistical challenges brought on by COVID-19, and confirmed and certified the election results—again and again and again. Yet Texas has sued Georgia anyway,” Carr said.

Collectively, each state asserted that Texas—along with Paxton’s allies—are making a concerted effort not only to disenfranchise millions of American voters, but to strip individual states of the rights conservatives so often claim to champion.

In another brief, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said that Paxton’s lawsuit is a diversion and has no chance of real legal success.

“It has no likelihood of success on the merits of claims,” Nessel said, “and the remaining factors strongly weigh in favor of denying the extraordinary relief Texas seeks—disenfranchising millions of voters.”

Paxton, though, has maintained confidence the Supreme Court will take his side.

“Texas,” Paxton wrote, “is likely to prevail.” noted earlier this week that Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Texas’s former attorney general, expressed bewilderment at the argument outlined in Paxton’s suit.


Four states ask Supreme Court to reject a lawsuit seeking to overturn their election results

Hundreds of GOP members sign onto Texas-led election lawsuit

In Blistering Retort, 4 Battleground States Tell Texas to Butt Out of Election

Join the conversation!