Officials in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin called the lawsuit a baseless stunt, and legal experts cast it as a desperate and unfounded effort to toss out millions of lawful ballots.
The lawsuit accuses those states of making unlawful changes to their election policies during the COVID-19 pandemic and creating a “massive opportunity for fraud.”
It calls on the high court to block those states from voting in the Electoral College, which meets next Monday to formalize Biden’s 306-232 electoral win, marking the latest longshot bid by President Donald Trump or his allies to overturn the November election that he insists was rigged or stolen,
Dozens of courts have already thrown out such allegations as factually baseless. U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr said last week that the Justice Department has no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
“This looks a lot more like a political document than a legal document,” said Dale Carpenter, a constitutional law expert at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. “It really stands no chance of success in the Supreme Court. And it reads like a signal of loyalty to Donald Trump.”
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, who chairs the Republican Association of Attorneys General – a group that includes Paxton – disputed his Texas’ claims.
“With all due respect, the Texas Attorney General is constitutionally, legally and factually wrong about Georgia,” Carr spokeswoman Katie Byrd said.
Paxton did not discuss the lawsuit with Carr ahead of time, she said.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, called Paxton’s filing a “publicity stunt, not a legal pleading.”
When a state sues another state, only the Supreme Court has jurisdiction. It takes five justices to agree to hear such disputes and legal experts deemed that unlikely for a number of reasons, including reluctance to let states meddle in each others’ affairs.
“If Texas can sue these states over how they conduct their elections, what’s to stop Vermont from suing Texas over how it regulates the oil industry, or other permutations?” tweeted University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck, a frequent Trump critic who called Paxton’s lawsuit “crazy,” and a “dangerous, offensive and wasteful… stunt.”