Dec 10, 2020
Even the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court--which includes three justices appointed by President Donald Trump--is unwilling to take seriously the flurry of lawsuits filed by the president and his allies to challenge the November election results, as the nation's highest court made clear by rejecting another case late Friday.
"Any other outcome would have signaled the death of core principles that lie at the heart of American democracy."
--Kristen Clarke, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The court's decision in the case brought by Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton--and backed by over 100 members of Congress--came after the justices on Tuesday unanimously denied an injunction request from a group of Republicans political figures in Pennsylvania, led by Congressman Mike Kelly.
Trump, his lawyers, and other political allies of the president have continued to circulate lies about mass voter fraud--for which even U.S. Attorney General William Barr, a Trump appointee, says there is no evidence--and file lawsuits that have prompted calls for investigations and sanctions targeting any attorneys involved.
Paxton, who was joined by several other Republican attorneys general for the case, had asked the Supreme Court to block four key battleground states that Biden won--Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin--from voting in the Electoral College. The court determined (pdf) that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution and had not "demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections."
Although legal experts figured that the effort had no chance of succeeding, the high court's decision was still celebrated by those who have framed the recent behavior by the president and some of his supporters at blatant attacks on U.S. democracy.
\u201cBREAKING: The Supreme Court just ruled against the Texas attorney general's absurd and dangerous attempt to overturn the election results.\n\nCourts have now ruled against nearly 60 of these undemocratic lawsuits.\n\nThe results are clear: Voters, not politicians, chose the winner.\u201d— ACLU (@ACLU) 1607730925
\u201cThe Supreme Court just decided that the Supreme Court wasn\u2019t the place to try that lawsuit. Weird that the most conservative count is now considered left-wing by Republicans. \n\nTurns out advancing access to civil liberties isn\u2019t the same as destroying democracy \ud83e\udd26\ud83c\udffd\u200d\u2640\ufe0f\u201d— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1607740187
Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, tweeted Friday that the court's rejection of the case "is exactly what the country needs right now--finality, resolution, and closure."
"This concept of one state trying to challenge the election systems of other states is fully at odds with our democratic process," Clarke said in a statement. "The highest court in the land rightfully put an end to a lawsuit that constituted a desperate attempt to discount ballots cast by millions of American voters. Any other outcome would have signaled the death of core principles that lie at the heart of American democracy."
"This sends a strong signal that it's time for President Trump and his allies to shut down remaining cases clogging the courts," she added. Journalist Ari Berman, who has written extensively about voting rights, concurred:
\u201cBiden won by 7 million votes nationwide \n\nHe won 306 electoral votes & every state certified \n\nHe won MI/WI/PA by 3x as much as Trump \n\nTrump lost 57 court cases \n\nSupreme Court won\u2019t overturn the results \n\nIt\u2019s over over over over & 90% of GOP needs to recognize reality\u201d— Ari Berman (@Ari Berman) 1607733051
Democratic Attorneys General Association co-chairs Maura Healey of Massachusetts and Aaron Ford of Nevada released a joint statement Friday applauding the court for handing another defeat to Trump and his allies "in their continued effort to overturn the will of the American people."
"The court's decision is an important reminder that we are a nation of laws--and in America, our laws are designed to protect the will of the people," they said. "It's long past time our leaders respect the will of the American voter and move forward together to confront the challenges that lie ahead for our families and communities."
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