Trump confident as Supreme Court considers last-ditch lawsuit
US President Donald Trump and his backers, having been stymied dozens of times by judges and elections officials across the country, are confident one last-ditch lawsuit will overturn his election loss.
“All I ask for is people with wisdom and with courage, that’s all,” Trump said at a White House Hanukkah party on Wednesday night, according to a video posted to Twitter. “Because if certain very important people, if they have wisdom and if they have courage, we’re going to win this election in a landslide.
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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton this week filed a suit with the US Supreme Court demanding the Electoral College votes from Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin be invalidated. The suit asks that the four states not be able to cast their electoral votes when the Electoral College meets next week because, it argued, using unproven or disproven allegations, that those states’ pandemic-era election law changes violated federal law.
Trump filed a motion with the Supreme Court to be added to the suit and Republican attorneys general from 17 states have also joined the suit, which legal experts widely believe will be quickly dismissed by the Supreme Court. Notably, Trump has invited those attorneys general to the White House for a lunch on Thursday.
“We will be INTERVENING in the Texas (plus many other states) case,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!
Election law expert Rick Hasen, a professor at the University of California, Irvine law school, called the suit “bonkers” and “dangerous garbage”, writing on his blog: “Texas doesn’t have standing to raise these claims as it has no say over how other states choose electors” and “there’s no reason to believe the voting conducted in any of the states was done unconstitutionally.”
“Both procedurally and substantively, [the lawsuit’s] a mess,” Justin Levitt, an election law professor at Loyola Law School in California, told the Reuters news agency. “There’s zero chance the court agrees to take the case.”
The Supreme Court asked the four states being sued to respond by Thursday afternoon. The court is expected to weigh in shortly afterwards, as time is of the essence: The Electoral College will meet on Monday, a date set by US law.
The four states named in the suit total 62 electoral votes in states won by President-elect Joe Biden. Overall, Biden won 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.
Out of the roughly 50 lawsuits filed around the country contesting the November 3 vote, Trump has lost more than 35 and the others are pending, according to an Associated Press tally.
Judges have consistently said the pro-Trump lawsuits lack key evidence and proof that elections were “rigged” or “illegal” or rife with fraud, allegations that have been amplified by the president and his supporters outside of the courtroom.
On Tuesday, reacting to a separate lawsuit, the Supreme Court refused to entertain the idea that the certification of Pennsylvania’s vote should be overturned and dismissed the suit without comment.
Meanwhile, Trump is dialling up the pressure on congressional Republicans, many of whom have yet to acknowledge Biden as president-elect but are not explicitly rallying around Trump either.
The Washington Post reported late on Wednesday that Trump is “calling Republicans, imploring them to keep fighting and more loudly proclaim the election was stolen”.
If the Electoral College votes as expected on Monday, that slams the door on Trump’s legal efforts to change the outcome. His conservative backers in Congress are trying to persuade other Republicans to take part in a sure-to-fail gambit to hold up congressional certification of the Electoral College vote on January 6.
In the unlikely event that gains traction, both houses of Congress would have to approve of that action and Biden’s Democrats, who will hold a majority in the House, and possibly the Senate as well, will not let that effort proceed.