Trump, 17 states back Texas bid to overturn US election result at Supreme Court

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Dec 10, 2020, 07:31 AM(IST)

(File Photo) Former US President Donald Trump Photograph:( AFP )

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The Republican president lost to Democrat Joe Biden in the recently concluded election, and also in the four election battleground states after winning them in the 2016 election.

President Donald Trump and 17 US states have thrown their support behind a lawsuit by Texas seeking to overturn the result of the November 3 vote.

They have asked the US Supreme Court to throw out the voting results in four states.

The Republican president lost to Democrat Joe Biden in the recently concluded election, and also in the four election battleground states after winning them in the 2016 election.

Trump filed a motion with the court asking the nine justices to let him intervene and become a plaintiff in the suit filed on Tuesday by Republican-governed Texas against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

If the justices let Trump join the lawsuit, it would create a very extraordinary circumstance of a sitting US president asking the top American court to decide that the millions of votes cast in the four states did not count. 

To this end, Trump tweeted, "This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!"

In a separate brief, lawyers for 17 states led by Missouri's Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt also urged the justices to hear the case.

Election law experts have said the Texas lawsuit stands little chance of success and lacks legal merit.

The lawsuit, the latest in a series of election challenges brought by Trump's campaign and supporters that so far have failed in numerous courts, was brought by Ken Paxton, the Republican attorney general of Texas and an ally of the president.

In addition to Missouri, the states joining Texas were: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia. All of the states were represented by Republican officials in the filing. All but three of the states have Republican governors.

Trump has falsely claimed he won re-election and has made baseless allegations of widespread voting fraud. Election officials at the state level have said they have found no evidence of such fraud.

Officials from Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have called the lawsuit a reckless attack on democracy. It was filed directly with the Supreme Court rather than with a lower court, as is permitted for certain litigation between states.

The New York Times, quoting an unnamed source familiar with the discussion, reported that Trump has asked Republican US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas to argue the case if the Supreme Court agrees to hear it.

Trump's filing with the court said the four states "conducted the elections according to unauthorised rules," adding that it was "not necessary for the Plaintiff in Intervention (Trump) to prove that fraud occurred" to have the election results thrown out.

Trump brought his motion in his personal capacity, rather than through the US Justice Department or his campaign.

Trump is represented by John Eastman, a conservative legal scholar who drew criticism for falsely questioning whether Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is eligible to serve as vice president because her immigrant parents were born outside the United States.

The Texas suit argued that changes made by the four states to voting procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic to expand mail-in voting were unlawful. Texas asked the Supreme Court to immediately block the four states from using the voting results to appoint presidential electors to the Electoral College.

Biden has amassed 306 electoral votes - far higher than the necessary 270 - compared to Trump's 232 in the state-by-state Electoral College that determines the election's outcome. The four states contribute a combined 62 electoral votes to Biden's total.

Texas also asked the Supreme Court to delay the December 14 date for Electoral College votes to be formally cast, a date set by law in 1887.

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