The Trump campaign is nearing the end of its options to try to overturn the results of the election, and now a legal Hail Mary has been launched.
The long-shot attempt is an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to hear claims that the battleground states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin exploited the Covid-19 pandemic to justify illegally changing election laws that skewed the results of the presidential election.
The case was filed by Trump supporter Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who contends the states violated the United States Constitution by allowing entities other than the states’ legislatures to change the rules.
The states have already certified the election results. Electors are scheduled to meet Monday to cast their ballots for president. Barring any faithless electors, Joe Biden will receive 306 votes and Trump 232, making Biden the president-elect.
If the Supreme Court interceded at this point, and if it agreed with Paxton’s argument, it would invalidate hundreds of thousands, even millions, of votes and change the outcome of the election. That would lead to chaos across the country.
Paxton’s argument is selective. He singles out the swing states, hoping to upend the election, but fails to include many other states that also modified voting procedures because of the pandemic, including his home state.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, issued an executive order in October “suspending certain statutes” concerning the election. If Paxton believed the executive exceeded his authority, he could have filed the action then against his own state. But he didn’t.
Attorneys General in at least 16 other states, including West Virginia, have joined together in support of the action.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said, “Many Americans and West Virginians have seen their confidence in the electoral system undermined as they watch one report after another outlining the many, many problems with the 2020 elections. That must change,” Morrisey said.
The country has also watched as each one of those legal challenges, as many as 50 in all, have been heard and then dismissed by Republican and Democratic judges alike. Several Republican judges have been openly critical of the merits of the arguments.
Those outcomes undermine Paxton’s allegations of fraud in his suit. He throws a lot of suggestions against the wall about what could have happened because of all the absentee ballots, but offers barely a hint of real evidence.
Morrisey is a Trump supporter and predictably disappointed that his candidate lost, but why should West Virginia join with Texas to intercede in how Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin make their decisions about how to run their elections?
One can imagine the outrage from Morrisey, as well as Secretary of State Mac Warner, who also supports the Paxton suit, if Texas or any other state tried to interfere in our election. They would tell Texas to mind its own business, and they would be within their rights to do it.
The longer Morrisey, Warner and other leading Republicans in the state help perpetuate the falsehood that the election was “stolen,” the more they themselves contribute to an undermining of the cherished practice of free and fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power.