Supreme Court Chooses Democracy Over Chaos and Tosses Texas’ Bonkers Election Challenge

Will Dunham/Reuters
Will Dunham/Reuters

The United States Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton seeking to overturn the results of the November presidential election in favor of Donald Trump late Friday.

“The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution,” the majority opinion read. “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.”

All three justices Trump appointed to the court joined the majority opinion and rejected the suit. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito argued that the court should hear the suit.

More than 100 Republican lawmakers had joined the lawsuit, as had 17 other states and the president himself, who touted it as “the big one” on Twitter. The lawsuit challenged the results of elections in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, and argued that pandemic-related changes to voting procedures had opened the door to voter fraud.

But legal experts viewed the suit as nothing more than a long shot, last-ditch effort for Trump and his allies to save face, with many questioning how Texas could claim to have a say in how other states conduct elections. Even Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) expressed confusion about the “legal theory” behind the lawsuit.

In a statement responding to the dismissal, the Texas Republican Party reiterated the baseless claims of unconstitutional voter fraud alleged in the suit and floated the idea of secession: “Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.”

Thus far, all the suits attempting to subvert the certified outcome of the election by alleging widespread voter fraud have failed. Former Vice President Joe Biden won the election. Trump’s administration has authorized the transition of power to the upcoming Biden presidency, but the commander-in-chief himself has refused to concede.

Trump has proclaimed for more than a month now that the election was stolen from him by a widespread clandestine fraud scheme, though he has failed to provide credible evidence. His lawyers, most notably Rudy Giuliani, have staged what amounts to a lawyerly traveling circus as they tout his claims from state to state.

Even before the Nov. 3 election, Trump had appeared to be both keenly aware of the likelihood that he would be defeated, and confident that the Supreme Court would rescue him if that were the case. During Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination and confirmation process, the president said he wanted her on the court so that any suit he brought against the outcome of the election would face a friendly conservative majority. Barrett was among those to reject the Texas-led suit, however, and his options for a legal path to re-election narrow nearly to the point of impossibility with the dismissal of his latest challenge.

Many in his inner circle, including his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka, have begun setting up their transitions out of the White House.

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