The 106 lawmakers asked the nation’s top court on Thursday for permission to file a friend-of-the-court brief that asks the justices to uphold the power of state legislatures to establish how presidential electors are appointed and to determine the constitutionality of ballots cast and counted under election rules established by non-legislative officials.
“In the months before the 2020 election, those rules were deliberately changed by both state and non-state actors,” the lawmakers wrote in their brief (pdf).
“The clear authority of those state legislatures to determine the rules for appointing electors was usurped at various times by governors, secretaries of state, election officials, state courts, federal courts, and private parties.”
The state of Texas had asked the Supreme Court to allow them to sue Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin in an attempt to protect the integrity of the 2020 election.
The Lone Star State alleges that the four key battleground states unconstitutionally changed election laws, treated voters unequally, and triggered significant voting irregularities by relaxing ballot integrity measures.
The top court gave the defendant states until 3 p.m. Thursday to respond to the allegations. All four states have since filed their response to Texas’s request.
The lawmakers argued in their brief that state legislatures’ power to determine presidential electors were “usurped” by governors, state courts, state election officials, and other administrative bodies. This usurpations had largely resulted in an unprecedented number of serious allegations of fraud and irregularities, they added.
The U.S. Constitution affords legislatures the power to prescribe the manner in which presidential electors are appointed in each state.
“No state constitution, state law, state governor, state election official, or court can alter or constrain that grant of power,” the lawmakers argue.
They urged the court to “provide an objective review of these anomalies and to determine for the people if indeed the Constitution has been followed and the rule of law maintained.”
Among the lawmakers who signed on are House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), incoming Republican Study Committee chairman Jim Banks (R-Ind.), and Chair of the conservative Freedom Caucus Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.).
This comes after 18 states with Republican attorneys general filed briefs in support and 20 states with Democratic attorneys general filed a brief in opposition of Texas’s lawsuit.
Meanwhile, Ohio filed a brief to the court expressing that it was “in support of neither party,” but argued that the court should resolve the fundamental question posed by Texas.
This case is cited as Texas v. Pennsylvania (22O155).