A full 22 states, territories, and the District of Columbia have banded together in opposition to a lawsuit in which Texas is seeking to invalidate the election results in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. Besides D.C., the new filing in opposition to Texas’s case includes the following list of states and territories: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington. The states and territories challenge fundamental claims in the Texas lawsuit, including that state court intervention in the electoral process is inappropriate and that expanded mail-in voting provided significant opportunities for fraud.
Texas challenged updates to electoral procedures that went through mechanisms other than respective state legislatures. However, the Texas opponents insist that “by demanding this Court police state interpretation of state law, Texas’s theory of the Electors Clause would reorder the Constitution and undermine our federalist system.” Texas wants the U.S. Supreme Court, where the case is filed, to weigh in on respective state governments’ interpretations of their own state laws, no matter the established principle of federalism, under which states are responsible for many of their own affairs, with separate responsibilities delegated to the federal government. This principle is fundamental — although Texas and its allies seem ready and willing to set an obvious application of federalism aside in order to further their political ambitions. They’d like the Supreme Court to go against lengthy legal precedent.
The filing against Texas’s case outlines how the Constitution’s insistence that state legislatures handle electoral procedures in their respective states does not necessarily confine election-related policy-making and application to the official legislative bodies that are currently in place across the country. If these legislative bodies did have this level of steep authority, then what role would state courts even have? The judiciary, of course, is supposed to act as a check on legislative bodies, while members of the executive branch are frequently tasked with putting laws into practice — like in the case of individual Secretarys of State handling elections across the country.
The challengers to Texas’s lawsuit also note that actual evidence of systematically election outcome-altering fraud accompanying the usage of mail-in voting simply does not exist. In the context of this latest election, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security has already issued an unequivocal statement insisting that the recently concluded election was the “most secure in American history.” Local election officials around the country and even Attorney General Bill Barr have also confirmed that there’s no legitimate evidence of election outcome-altering fraud in this election. Read the full filing against Texas’s lawsuit at this link.