‘Craziest lawsuit’: Legal experts quickly push back on Texas AG’s attempt to overturn election

By Steven Melendez

December 08, 2020

In the latest effort by Republicans to overturn the presidential election results, Texas sued Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin saying the states changed their voting procedures in unconstitutional ways.

Under a legal provision that gives the Supreme Court jurisdiction over suits between states, Texas asked the high court to hear the case.

“The public, and indeed the candidates themselves, have a compelling interest in ensuring that the selection of a President—any President—is legitimate,” Texas officials said in a court filing. “If that trust is lost, the American Experiment will founder. A dark cloud hangs over the 2020 Presidential election.”

Law professors and other experts quickly said in harsh terms that it’s unlikely the Supreme Court will even hear the case, let alone rule in Texas’s favor, in part since Texas likely has no legal right to complain about other states’ election procedures.

University of California, Irvine, law professor and election law blogger Rick Hasen called the suit “a press release masquerading as a lawsuit” and said it may have a better chance of rallying President Trump’s base than of winning over Supreme Court justices.

The lawsuit drew praise from conservatives on Twitter and sparked a much-liked tweet from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, who brought the suit, isn’t the only official from the state eager to fight the election results at the Supreme Court: Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said he’d be happy to represent plaintiffs in another long-shot suit seeking to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania.

Under federal law, election disputes are supposed to be resolved by six days before the Electoral College meets, a deadline known as safe harbor, which is today. The electors officially cast their ballots for president on Monday.