Texas Asks High Court to Block Election Results in Four States

Voters wait in line to cast their ballot early at the Bell Auditorium in Augusta, Ga., in October. (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP, File)

(CN) — The Republican attorney general of Texas has asked the nation’s highest court to block the results of the November election in four key states where voters chose Democrat Joe Biden as their next president, claiming the states exploited the Covid-19 pandemic to skew results.

Ken Paxton’s filing in the Supreme Court on Monday is just the latest in a series of long-shot legal challenges brought by allies of President Donald Trump that have been roundly rejected by judges across the country.

In the new filing, Paxton alleges “significant and unconstitutional irregularities” with how the election was administered in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, states that were crucial to President-elect Biden’s victory.

Paxton argues the states’ various pandemic-related changes to election procedures were unconstitutional, while other parts of the complaint echo Trump’s unfounded concerns about the integrity of mail-in ballots, which voting experts have routinely described as a reliable voting method.

The challenge from Texas comes just a week after Trump’s own attorney general William Barr publicly rejected the notion of widespread fraud in the November election.

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told the Associated Press.

In a statement, Georgia’s Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs blasted Paxton’s allegations as “false and irresponsible.”

“Texas alleges that there are 80,000 forged signatures on absentee ballots in Georgia, but they don’t bring forward a single person who this happened to,” Fuchs said. “That’s because it didn’t happen.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel also pushed back against Paxton’s claims, calling the Supreme Court filing “a publicity stunt, not a serious legal pleading.”

Legal experts quickly dismissed Paxton’s challenge, with one notable law scholar calling it “insane.”

“It looks like we have a new leader in the ‘craziest lawsuit filed to purportedly challenge the election’ category,” Steve Vladeck, a courts and constitutional law expert at the University of Texas, wrote on Twitter. “Spoiler alert: the Court is *never* going to hear this one.”

The Republican Party of Texas, meanwhile, praised the complaint.

“The unconstitutional and illegal actions in those states relating to the 2020 national election violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment for Texans,” Texas GOP Chairman Allen West said in a statement. “We cannot tolerate judicial and executive actions that undermine election law.”

Paxton’s complaint asks the high court to block the four states from appointing presidential electors ahead of Dec. 14, when electors across the nation will meet to cast their votes.

On Monday, election officials in Georgia recertified their results from November showing Biden as the victor as they continued to push back against Trump’s false claims, delivered mostly via Twitter, of a rigged election.

“Disinformation regarding election administration should be condemned and rejected,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, himself a Republican, said during a news conference Monday. “Integrity matters, truth matters.”

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