Though it may be easy and somewhat comforting to hold onto the idea that President-elect Biden’s win and soon-coming inauguration will fix the problems in America’s democracy exposed by Donald Trump, the reality of today’s Republican Party upends that notion.
This week, 126 out of the 196 Republicans in the House signed onto an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to void the election results from Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia—states that went for Biden in the 2020 election. The case is now before the Supreme Court.
The decision to back the suit was led by Representative Mike Johnson (R-La.), according to the Washington Post, and the legal brief supporting the call to invalidate millions of votes boasts signatures from Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise.
Paxton spent much of the lead up to the 2020 election instituting measures in Texas that appeared to aim at voter turnout, including targeting mail-in voting, and the President himself has flagged the Supreme Court as his final hope for being granted an electoral victory he did not earn, since his campaign has spectacularly lost numerous suits brought to lower courts to invalidate the results of the targeted states.
“It is much easier for the Supreme Court of the United States to follow the Constitution and do what everybody knows has to be done,” Trump tweeted on Friday.
The unprecedented call to block the counting of electoral votes from four key states earned incredulous responses from the attorneys’ general representing Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Wisconsin.
From the New York Times:
“The court should not abide this seditious abuse of the judicial process, and should send a clear and unmistakable signal that such abuse must never be replicated,” a brief for Pennsylvania said.
“Let us be clear,” the brief continued. “Texas invites this court to overthrow the votes of the American people and choose the next president of the United States. That Faustian invitation must be firmly rejected.”
Christopher M. Carr, Georgia’s attorney general, seemed particularly taken aback by Texas’s suit.
“This election cycle,” he wrote, “Georgia did what the Constitution empowered it to do: it implemented processes for the election, administered the election in the face of logistical challenges brought on by Covid-19, and confirmed and certified the election results — again and again and again. Yet Texas has sued Georgia anyway.”
The briefs said Texas was in no position to tell other states how to run their elections, adding that its filing was littered with falsehoods.
“Texas proposes an extraordinary intrusion into Wisconsin’s and the other defendant states’ elections, a task that the Constitution leaves to each state,” Wisconsin’s brief said.
The Supreme Court is expected to decide whether it will consider the suit before the Electoral College vote takes place on Monday.
Whatever the justices decide, the Republican Party’s escalating efforts to dismiss the validity of the American people’s choice at the ballot box is undoubtedly seeding a distrust in the electoral system that spells dangers for the country’s political process and governance in the future.
Updated: 12/11/20, 7:06 p.m: ...And the Supreme Court said no to all that shit.
The New York Times reports that in a brief, one-page order, the highest court in the land rejected the lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, which drew support from 17 other states and more than a hundred House Republicans. The order noted that Texas had no business filing the sham of a lawsuit and that it “has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections.”
Basically, the justices say, “Get this dumb shit out of here.”
Trump, who packed the court with three justices—including the rushed confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett right before the election—had hoped SCOTUS would help overturn any election that didn’t go his way. Looks like that didn’t work out so well for him.