An attorney claiming to represent the so-called states of “New Nevada” and “New California” — which, just to be clear, do not actually exist — has filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to join Texas’s new lawsuit against the election results. This attorney, Robert E. Thomas III, speaks in his new filing as though the existence of “New Nevada” and “New California” are previously established facts — but they’re not. These states do not exist. Thomas filed in support of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), who is seeking to invalidate the presidential election outcome in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, all of which Biden won.
I think we've officially jumped the Kraken. pic.twitter.com/L3Ui8xHk9w
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) December 11, 2020
Besides the obvious pro-Trump slant of trying to overturn the election outcome in states where Biden won, the “New Nevada State Movement” — whose address matches an address on the new court filing in question — has promoted Trump events through its web presence. In one Facebook post from August, the organization wrote that “Most New Nevada supporters also support President Trump’s re-election.”
Two states that don't exist are trying to throw out the votes of people in four states that do. Whatever. https://t.co/B4fFlsAaMs
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) December 11, 2020
In the actual filing, Thomas insistently misspells the name of California Governor Gavin Newsom (D), who the lawyer refers to as “Gavin Newsome.” More broadly, Thomas tries to inject some local concerns into the proceedings, claiming, for instance, that “Part of the reason for the formation of New California State and New Nevada Sate is to stop the lawless actions of Governors Newsome (California) and Sisolak (Nevada),” as if this far-right conservative fever dream has any legitimate relevance whatsoever to the case before the Supreme Court, which has exclusive jurisdiction over court fights between (actual) states.
Next act in the circus, the amicus brief from "New California and New Nevada states," which neither explains who/what the hell they are, but also persistently misspells the name of CA's governor. I expect SCOTUS will end this menagerie today.https://t.co/Vo31AiyxXM
— David Becker (@beckerdavidj) December 11, 2020
In the original filing from Texas, Paxton insists that the targeted states unconstitutionally expanded mail-in voting because the changes went through officials other than members of formal state legislative bodies. Thomas suggests that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Republican position in the case could force the resolution of a court fight in California, where Newsom has faced challenges over his usage of executive authority in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and in adapting the state’s voting system to the pandemic.
Two non-existent states ('New California' and 'New Nevada') have now filed an amici curiae brief with #SCOTUS in support of #Texas v. #Pennsylvania, #Georgia, #Michigan, #Wisconsin. https://t.co/22QEhgoY3U
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) December 11, 2020
Attorney Generals for 22 states and territories and the Attorney General for the District of Columbia have insisted in a response filing that the original Constitutional demand for legislatures to handle certain election-related policy-making doesn’t confine this policy development to the formal legislative bodies in respective states. The point, these Texas opponents say, is to delegate election-related policy-making to whoever happens to set official policy in respective states, whether inside or outside of formal legislative bodies. The Texas opponents also observe that the position of Texas and its allies would effectively overturn foundational principles of federalism, under which responsibilities are spread out across layers of government. Texas wants Supreme Court intervention in respective states’ interpretations of their own laws, and they also want state courts seemingly pushed to the side in the electoral policy-making process, leaving a large amount of power to legislative bodies.
President Donald Trump’s own team has also filed to join the Texas lawsuit in favor of Paxton’s position. If you’re on the same side as someone who acts like New California and New Nevada are real states, then maybe it’s time to rethink your life choices.