Republican attorneys general from 17 states Donald Trump won in the 2020 presidential election filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Wednesday backing up a lawsuit submitted the previous day by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton seeking to overturn Trump's loss in four states.
In the amicus brief, a filing voicing support for a case, the 17 states said the Texas lawsuit raises "raises constitutional questions of great public importance that warrant this Court's review."
The suit filed by Paxton seeks to block certification of the election results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. All of them voted for President-elect Joe Biden.
Legal experts say the Texas lawsuit is all but certain to fail and the amicus brief from the 17 GOP-controlled states is unlikely to change that fact.
"It's not going to move the needle," said Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
But legal experts add that it sets a dangerous precedent for such high-ranking state officials to support an effort to overturn the results of a free and fair election in other states simply because the candidate of the opposing party won.
"The lawsuit has no merit. It will fail," Lisa Marshall Manheim, a professor at the University of Washington School of Law, wrote in an op-ed published in the Washington Post. "The effort though represents a galling expansion of Texas officials' disregard for voters and the electoral process."
Many of the states that signed on to the amicus brief do exactly what they say was illegal in the states Biden won.
"A lot of this brief is people in glass houses casting stones," Brad Heath, a crime and justice reporter at Reuters, tweeted. "It argues that allowing absentee ballots to arrive after Election Day undermines faith in democracy. But Kansas and Mississippi, which both signed on, also count mail-in ballots that arrive late."
Trump lost the 2020 election by a margin he himself called a "landslide" back in 2016, when he won the same number of Electoral College votes that Biden earned this time around.
Every state has certified its results, and Trump's legal options to overturn his loss have run out, with courts at all levels — including the Supreme Court — tossing out challenges from his campaign and its allies.
But Trump still hasn't accepted his fate, and he spent Wednesday tweeting lies about the election as he continues his attempts to undermine confidence in the fundamental democratic principle of free and fair elections.
And now he's receiving back-up in that effort from a large number of GOP-run states.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.