The US Supreme Court on Friday brought an abrupt end to a long-shot lawsuit filed by Texas and backed by President Donald Trump seeking to throw out voting results in four states, dealing him a crushing setback in his quest to undo his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
The justices in a brief order rejected the bid by Texas to file the extraordinary challenge targeting Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin directly with the Supreme Court, as is allowed in some instances of litigation between states under a legal doctrine called “original jurisdiction”.
The order said Texas did not have legal standing to bring the claim.
“Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections,” the court said in the unsigned order.
The case was filed on Tuesday by the Republican attorney-general of Texas, a Trump ally, against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The Republican president on Wednesday filed a motion to intervene and become a plaintiff.
The four states in a filing with the court on Thursday asked the justices to reject the lawsuit, which they said had no factual or legal grounds.
The court’s order was its second this week rebuffing Republican requests that it get involved in the 2020 election outcome.
The justices turned away an appeal from Pennsylvania Republicans on Tuesday.
The Electoral College meets on Monday to formally elect Mr Biden as the next president.
There was no immediate response from the White House. A spokesman for Mr Biden said it was “no surprise” the high court rejected “baseless attempts” to deny that Mr Trump lost the election.
“Our nation’s highest court saw through this seditious abuse of our electoral process,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, said on Twitter.
On Friday night, Mr Trump tweeted a polished campaign video which repeated discredited claims of election fraud. Twitter immediately added a content warning to the post.