(CN) — Republicans, conservative activist groups and even two non-existent “states” have pledged their support in recent days for a Texas-led effort to overturn the November election results in four key states, a long-shot cry to the nation’s highest court that has been lambasted by experts.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican still facing securities fraud charges from five years ago who was reportedly subpoenaed by the FBI this week amid separate corruption allegations, urged the Supreme Court on Friday to take up the case and to rule on it promptly.
In a filing to the court, Paxton boldly claimed that Texas “does not ask this court to reelect President Trump,” despite the fact that the four states targeted by the effort – Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania – handed victory to President-elect Joe Biden. Paxton’s filing went on to claim, with no elaboration, that “evidence suggests Mr. Biden did not win legally.”
As of Wednesday, all 50 states and the District of Columbia had certified their election results, according to a CNN tally. The Electoral College meets Monday to finalize the results.
Still, Paxton on Friday urged the high court to “summarily vacate” the certification of presidential electors in the four targeted states and suggested the court should give lawmakers in those states the power to decide who the electors vote for.
Ahead of a Thursday filing deadline, Republicans unloaded a flurry of court briefs supporting the effort. Those included a brief from pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood, whose own election challenge in Georgia was recently dismissed, and a filing from the conservative activist groups Citizens United Foundation and the Presidential Coalition.
More than 100 House Republicans have signed onto Paxton’s effort as well, claiming that “unconstitutional irregularities” in the November election “cast doubt upon its outcome and the integrity of the American system of elections.” President Trump has asked the court for permission to directly join Paxton’s lawsuit.
In a bizarre move, an attorney for the non-existent “states” of “New California” and “New Nevada” also filed a brief Friday supporting the Texas case. The “states” are both minor secessionist movements within the actual states of California and Nevada.
All four attorneys general in the targeted states have urged the justices to reject the case, their call supported in court filings by 22 states and territories and the District of Columbia.
“The court should not abide by this seditious abuse of the judicial process, and should send a clear and unmistakable signal that such abuse must never be replicated,” Democratic Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro wrote on Thursday.
Legal scholars and observers largely expect the Supreme Court will refuse to take the case, with a decision possible as early as Friday. Some have argued for the court to quickly reject the effort.
“We can all say ‘its meritless nonsense’ and it is,” Houston-based appellate attorney Raffi Melkonian, who has been heavily critical of Paxton’s effort, wrote on Twitter. “But the president and his backers are using its existence as part of their scheme to destabilize things. Just kill it so Trump can move on to the next stage of his plot.”
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