More states back Texas election lawsuit
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 12/09/20, 06:12 pm
President Donald Trump and attorneys for 17 U.S. states filed briefs with the Supreme Court supporting Texas’ bid to keep Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin out of the upcoming Electoral College vote. The lawsuit accuses officials in those states, all of which have certified Joe Biden as winner, of making unconstitutional changes to voting procedures and undermining the integrity of the presidential election. If those four states sat out the Electoral College vote, neither Trump nor Biden would have the 270 electors needed to win, and state delegations to the House of Representatives could be tasked with picking the next president.
Does Texas have a case? The lawsuit raises questions about whether the executive branch of a state government can legally change election rules governing things like absentee ballot requests. Texas argues officials in Pennsylvania and its co-defendant states violated the U.S. Constitution’s provision giving power over the selection of presidential electors to state legislatures. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia agree with Texas. The Supreme Court could refuse to take the case for several reasons, including that the safe harbor deadline for states to certify their results and pick their electors has passed. It’s also unclear whether the justices would allow one state to sue another for how it enforces its laws. The high court requested a response from the defendant states by Thursday. The Electoral College vote is set for Monday.
Dig deeper: Read Kyle Ziemnick’s report in The Stew about what happens if no presidential candidate wins 270 Electoral College votes.
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