Four US states that President Donald Trump lost in the November 3 election on Thursday began to file court papers opposing a long-shot Republican-backed lawsuit filed by Texas at the Supreme Court seeking to undo President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Officials from Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin already have called the lawsuit, which aims to throw out the voting results in the four states, a reckless attack on democracy. The Supreme Court gave the four states a Thursday deadline to file court papers in the case.
Pennsylvania was the first to file, with the state’s Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro saying that the Texas lawsuit was adding to a “cacophony of bogus false claims” about the election.
“What Texas is doing in this proceeding is to ask this court to reconsider a mass of baseless claims about problems with the election that have already been considered, and rejected, by this court and other courts,” Shapiro added.
The lawsuit is supported by Trump and 17 other states. The Republican president has falsely claimed he won re-election and has made baseless allegations of widespread voting fraud. State election officials have said they have found no evidence of such fraud.
“The Supreme Court has a chance to save our Country from the greatest Election abuse in the history of the United States,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday, repeating his unfounded allegations that the election was rigged against him.
The lawsuit itself does not make specific fraud allegations, instead focusing on changes made by the four states to voting procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic to expand mail-in voting. Texas said those changes removed protections against fraud and were unlawful when the reforms were made by officials in the four states or courts without the approval of the states legislatures.
Legal experts have said the lawsuit has little chance of succeeding and have questioned whether Texas has the legal standing to challenge election procedures in other states.
Trump filed a motion with the court on Wednesday asking the nine justices to let him intervene and become a plaintiff in the suit, which was filed on Tuesday by Ken Paxton, the Republican attorney general of Texas and an ally of the president. Trump was due on Thursday to meet with Paxton and other state attorneys general who support the lawsuit.
If the justices let Trump join the lawsuit, it would create the extraordinary circumstance of a sitting US president asking the top American court to decide that millions of votes cast in the four states did not count. Biden defeated Trump in the four states, which Trump had won in the 2016 election.
Democrats and other critics have accused Trump of aiming to reduce public confidence in US election integrity and undermine democracy by trying to subvert the will of the voters.
The lawsuit represents the latest in a long series of legal challenges – so far unsuccessful – brought by Trump’s campaign and allies trying to change the election results.
In a separate brief, lawyers for 17 states led by Missouri’s Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Wednesday also urged the justices to hear the case.
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.
One Republican state attorney general, Dave Yost of Ohio, filed a separate brief on Thursday disagreeing with the Texas proposal that votes be tossed out, saying that it “would undermine a foundational premise of our federalist system: the idea that the States are sovereigns, free to govern themselves.”
Some Republican members of Congress and other state officials have also criticised the effort.

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