Sunday March 7th, 2021 3:32PM

Hundreds of GOP members sign onto Texas-led election lawsuit

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HOUSTON (AP) — The Texas lawsuit asking the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate President-elect Joe Biden’s victory has quickly become a conservative litmus test, as 126 members of Congress and multiple state attorneys general signed onto the case even as some have predicted it will fail.

The last-gasp bid to subvert the results of the Nov. 3 election is demonstrating President Donald Trump’s enduring political power even as his term is set to end. While many of the signatories are far-right conservatives who come from deep red districts, the filing means that more than half of House Republicans, including their top two leaders, Reps. Kevin McCarthy of California and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, believe the Supreme Court should set aside the will of the people.

Seventeen Republican attorneys general are backing the unprecedented case that Trump is calling “the big one" despite the fact that the president and his allies have lost dozens of times in courts across the country and have no evidence of widespread fraud. And in a filing Thursday, the Congressional Republicans claimed “unconstitutional irregularities” have “cast doubt” on the 2020 outcome and “the integrity of the American system of elections.”

To be clear, there has been no evidence of widespread fraud and Trump has been seeking to subvert the will of the voters. Election law experts think the lawsuit will never last.

“The Supreme Court is not going to overturn the election in the Texas case, as the President has told them to do," tweeted Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine. "But we are in bad shape as a country that 17 states could support this shameful, anti-American filing" by Texas and its attorney general, Ken Paxton, he said.

The lawsuit filed against Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin repeats false, disproven, and unsubstantiated accusations about the voting in four states that went for Trump's Democratic challenger. The case demands that the high court invalidate the states' 62 total Electoral College votes. That's an unprecedented remedy in American history: setting aside the votes of tens of millions of people, under the baseless claim the Republican incumbent lost a chance at a second term due to widespread fraud.

Two days after Paxton sued, 17 states filed a motion supporting the lawsuit, and on Thursday six of those states asked to join the case themselves. Trump has acted to join the case, tweeting Thursday that “the Supreme Court has a chance to save our Country from the greatest Election abuse in the history of the United States.” Hours later, Trump held a meeting at the White House, scheduled before the suit was filed, with a dozen Republican attorneys general, including Paxton and several others who are backing the effort.

Still, some of the top state Republican prosecutors urging the Supreme Court to hear the case have acknowledged that the effort is a long shot and are seeking to distance themselves from Trump’s baseless allegations of fraud. North Dakota's Wayne Stenehjem, among the 17 attorneys general supporting the case, said North Dakota is not alleging voter fraud in the four states at issue.

“We’re careful on that,” said Stenehjem, who noted that his office has received thousands of calls and emails from constituents asking the state to support the suit. “But it’s worth it for the Supreme Court to weigh in and settle it once and for all,” he said.

The case has divided officials in some states.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is supporting Texas' case, even though he said the suit was “belated” and its chances “are slim at best.” Fox said the case raised “important constitutional questions about the separation of powers and the integrity of mail-in ballots in those defendant states.”

But Gov. Steve Bullock, D-Mont., urged the court to reject the case. He said that the fact that Texas is not suing Montana, which Trump won, even though the state similarly used mail-in ballots underscores that "this action is less about election integrity than it is about attempting to overturn the will of the electorate.”

The litigation rankled Democratic attorneys general. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, co-chair of the Democratic Attorneys General Association, called the attempt to overturn votes “unconscionable.” Support among other leading lawyers was disturbing, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, who's also co-chair of the Democratic attorneys general group, told The Associated Press.

“I do think that these individuals are kowtowing to a president who has implemented some level of control and authority over the duly elected attorneys general in their states in a way that is unfortunate," he said.

“I do think that this is a dangerous precedent to initiate."

Suits brought by Trump and his allies have failed repeatedly across the country, and the Supreme Court this week rejected a Republican bid to reverse Pennsylvania’s certification of Biden’s victory.

Trump has spent the week relentlessly tweeting about the Texas case with the hashtag “overturn” and claiming, falsely, that he had won the election but was robbed.

Many of the attorneys general supporting the case have shown greater political ambitions.

In Kansas, Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who is considering a bid for governor in 2022, announced that he would back the effort only hours after former Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer — another potential candidate for governor — tweeted that Schmidt’s office should.

Officials in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin say the suit is a publicity stunt. More than 20 other attorneys general from states including California and Virginia also filed a brief Thursday urging the court to reject the case.

Despite the political pressure, Idaho’s Republican attorney general chose not to join Texas.

“As is sometimes the case, the legally correct decision may not be the politically convenient decision,” Lawrence Wasden said in a statement. “But my responsibility is to the state of Idaho and the rule of law.”


Richer reported from Boston. Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers David Pitt in Des Moines, Iowa; John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas; Amy Beth Hanson in Helena, Montana; James MacPherson in Bismarck, North Dakota, Keith Ridler in Boise, Idaho; Michelle Price in Las Vegas and Sophia Eppolito and Lindsay Whitehurst in Salt Lake City.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, General House Election News, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
© Copyright 2021
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Hundreds of GOP members sign onto Texas-led election lawsuit
The Texas lawsuit asking the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate President-elect Joe Biden’s victory has quickly become a conservative litmus test
6:53PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Biden's transition contends with probe into son's finances
The revelation that federal prosecutors have launched a tax investigation into President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter is now looming over the incoming administration's transition efforts
6:52PM ( 6 minutes ago )
US panel endorses widespread use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
A U.S. government advisory panel has endorsed Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, in a major step toward an epic vaccination campaign that could finally conquer the outbreak
6:48PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Exposure feared after New Hampshire speaker dies of COVID-19
The COVID-19 death of the speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives has raised fears that other members of one of the world's largest legislatures might have been exposed at their swearing-in last week
6:12PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Trump virus coordinator Birx seeks role in Biden government
When Dr. Deborah Birx was brought into President Donald Trump’s orbit to help fight the coronavirus, she had a sterling reputation as a globally recognized AIDS researcher and a rare Obama administration holdover
6:05PM ( 52 minutes ago )
US budget deficit up 25.1% in first 2 months of budget year
The U.S. government’s deficit in the first two months of the budget year ran 25.1% higher than the same period a year ago, as spending to deal with the COVID pandemic soared while tax revenues fell
5:57PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
US experts convene to decide whether to OK Pfizer vaccine
Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine faces one of its final hurdles before an expected decision to greenlight the shot for use in millions of Americans
4:13PM ( 2 hours ago )
Watchdog faults VA chief over handling of sex assault report
An investigative report by the Veteran Affairs Department's internal watchdog has taken a look at what VA Secretary Robert Wilkie did when he was confronted with a sexual assault allegation at the flagship medical center in the nation's capital
3:21PM ( 3 hours ago )
UK's Johnson: 'Strong possibility' Brexit talks will fail
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says there is a “strong possibility” that talks on a post-Brexit trade agreement with the EU will end without agreement
3:04PM ( 3 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: Biden signals limit on executive authority use
Joe Biden has suggested he can’t go as far with executive authority as some of his most vocal supporters would like, declaring that he won’t violate the Constitution in a leaked recording of his call with civil rights leaders
6:15PM ( 43 minutes ago )
Watchdog raises possible Kushner link to $700M rescue loan
A congressional monitor of federal pandemic aid is raising the possibility of a link between President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and a $700 million relief loan to a struggling trucking company
6:01PM ( 58 minutes ago )
Argentine congress debates abortion rights; activists gather
Argentine lawmakers are debating a bill that would legalize abortion in most cases as demonstrators for and against the initiative gathered in separate areas outside the congress building
5:49PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Probe: CDC official says she was ordered to delete emails
A senior manager with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told congressional investigators she was ordered to delete an email suggesting attempted political interference by the Trump administration in coronavirus reports to the public
3:32PM ( 3 hours ago )
McConnell signals no GOP support for emerging COVID-19 deal
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is hitting the brakes on an emerging COVID-19 aid package for now
3:19PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: US tops 3,000 daily deaths, more than 9/11
As FDA officials discuss approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. set records for deaths and hospitalizations
3:05PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Wisconsin courts to consider Trump's election lawsuits
President Donald Trump’s extraordinary effort to overturn Joe Biden’s win in Wisconsin is returning to the courtroom
9:55AM ( 9 hours ago )
Hunter Biden tax probe examining Chinese business dealings
The Justice Department is investigating the finances of President-elect Joe Biden’s son, including scrutinizing some of his Chinese business dealings and other transactions
9:40AM ( 9 hours ago )
The Latest: Biden to campaign in Georgia for Senate runoffs
President-elect Joe Biden is heading to Georgia to campaign for the Democratic candidates in the state’s two critical U.S. Senate runoffs
8:36AM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Elections
Kansas lawmaker-to-be under order not to contact foe's aide
A soon-to-be seated Kansas lawmaker has had a temporary, anti-stalking order issued against him in court at the request of a former opponent’s campaign manager
8:19PM ( 1 day ago )
High court rejects GOP bid to halt Biden's Pennsylvania win
The Supreme Court has rejected Republicans' last-gasp bid to reverse Pennsylvania’s certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the electoral battleground
8:06PM ( 1 day ago )
Hawaii certifies Biden's win of state's presidential vote
Hawaii is certifying the results of its presidential vote after the state Supreme Court dismissed an elections complaint challenging the entirety of the Nov. 3 general election
8:05PM ( 1 day ago )
General Election News
President-elect? GOP may wait for January to say Biden won
Americans waiting for Republicans in Congress to acknowledge Joe Biden as the president-elect may have to keep waiting
5:34AM ( 1 day ago )
A new face to the GOP: Diverse candidates win in California
California's long-suffering Republicans might have found a path forward in the increasingly diverse state: Their winning U.S. House candidates included two South Korean immigrants and sons of immigrant parents from Mexico and Portugal
12:04AM ( 1 day ago )
Trump thought courts were key to winning. Judges disagreed.
President Donald Trump and his allies say their lawsuits aimed at subverting the 2020 election and reversing his loss to Joe Biden would be substantiated if only judges were allowed to hear the cases
5:13PM ( 2 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
Biden's transition contends with probe into son's finances
The revelation that federal prosecutors have launched a tax investigation into President-elect Joe Biden’s son Hunter is now looming over the incoming administration's transition efforts
6:52PM ( 7 minutes ago )
US panel endorses widespread use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
A U.S. government advisory panel has endorsed Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, in a major step toward an epic vaccination campaign that could finally conquer the outbreak
6:48PM ( 10 minutes ago )
The Latest: Duke won't play more nonconference games
Duke won’t play any more nonconference men’s basketball games in the regular season
6:44PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Q&A: What's next for Facebook in the antitrust case?
Could Facebook be forced to break off WhatsApp and Instagram
6:42PM ( 16 minutes ago )
San Diego to fight ruling letting strip clubs stay open
While California’s new stay-at-home order has barred restaurant dining, shuttered salons and kept church services outside, two strip clubs in San Diego are still welcoming patrons nightly, protected by a court order
6:35PM ( 23 minutes ago )