Greater than 120 Republican members of the US Home of Representatives formally requested the US supreme court docket this week to stop 4 swing states from casting electoral votes for Joe Biden to seal his victory within the November election, a brazen transfer that indicators how the Republican get together has embraced Donald Trump’s baseless assaults on the American electoral system.
The request from 126 GOP members – almost two-thirds of the Republican caucus – got here in assist of a lawsuit Texas filed earlier this week searching for to dam the electoral votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia, all states Biden gained in November.
The go well with, which gained assist from prime Republicans within the Home, is baseless and most unlikely to succeed. The US structure provides states clear authority to set their very own election and doesn’t give different states the best to intervene. Texas’s argument within the go well with can also be based mostly on unsupported claims of fraud which were dismissed in decrease courts.
“The lawsuit has so many basic flaws that it’s exhausting to know the place to begin. It misstates fundamental rules of election regulation and calls for a treatment that’s each unconstitutional and unavailable,” Lisa Marshall Manheim, a regulation professor on the College of Washington, wrote in an e-mail. “At core, it’s an incoherent amalgamation of claims that already failed within the decrease courts.”
The lawsuit is unprecedented in American historical past: a quest to overturn a presidential election on the premise of unsubstantiated claims by an incumbent who soundly misplaced his re-election bid.
And but, it has grow to be a take a look at of fealty for the president’s get together that has pit Republican governors, lawmakers and elected officers towards each other.
One supreme court docket transient, filed by distinguished Republicans in opposition to the Texas lawsuit, mentioned the arguments “make a mockery of federalism and separation of powers”.
Among the many 126 lawmakers who signed on to the transient is a very puzzling group: 19 Republican members of Congress who symbolize districts in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin.
These members all appeared on the identical poll because the presidential candidates and all however one have been elected beneath the identical guidelines to which they’re now objecting.
(In the meantime, Doug Collins, a Georgia congressman, ran for a US Senate seat and misplaced. Collins conceded his race, thereby accepting his defeat in a statewide election, and was later chosen by the Trump marketing campaign to guide its recount effort within the state.)
By signing on to the transient, these lawmakers are basically arguing that their very own outcomes might have been tainted by the identical irregularities they are saying price Trump the election of their state.
The Guardian contacted the places of work of all 18 of these Republicans who gained re-election to ask in the event that they believed there needs to be additional investigation into their electoral victories in November. None of them responded to a request for remark.
Many of the lawmakers who assist the trouble are far-right conservatives from deep crimson districts that voted for Trump. However collectively, their assist for the lawsuit implies that greater than 1 / 4 of the Home, together with the California congressman Kevin McCarthy, the Republican minority chief, consider the supreme court docket ought to invalidate the votes of tens of thousands and thousands of Individuals.
Seventeen Republican attorneys basic have additionally signed on in assist of the last-ditch authorized bid to overturn the 2020 presidential contest earlier than states’ electors meet on Monday to formally declare Biden the victor.
Within the terribly unlikely state of affairs that the Texas lawsuit have been even taken up by the supreme court docket, it might stop Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia from casting electoral votes for Biden. That might deny him the 270 electoral votes he must grow to be president.
Biden gained the election with 306 electoral votes, the identical quantity that Trump gained in 2016, and he leads the favored vote by greater than 7 million. The 4 states focused by the Texas lawsuit symbolize 62 electoral votes.
Biden soundly defeated Trump in Michigan and Pennsylvania, a part of the “blue wall” that Trump shattered in 2016. Biden additionally clawed again a 3rd “blue wall” state – Wisconsin – whereas eking out a shock victory in Georgia, the place a number of recounts have affirmed his win regardless of an audacious try by the president to strain the Republican governor and secretary of state to reverse the consequence.
Dozens of lawsuits introduced by Trump’s marketing campaign and allies in state and federal court docket have been unsuccessful, with the circumstances so missing in proof of the widespread voter fraud they alleged that judges summarily dismissed, derided and even denounced them as meritless. Election regulation specialists have additionally roundly criticized the Texas lawsuit, pointing to what they are saying are substantial authorized flaws within the argument introduced forth by the state’s Republican lawyer basic, Ken Paxton.
Paxton, a staunch ally of the president, is beneath indictment in a long-running securities fraud case and faces a separate federal investigation associated to allegations that he abused the ability of his workplace in reference to a political donor. He has denied the allegations. But Paxton’s makes an attempt to override the election outcomes have raised hypothesis that he could also be angling for a presidential pardon, although he insists that isn’t his motivation.