20 More House Republicans Put Names to Supreme Court Brief

126 Republicans now back Supreme Court case in legal brief
December 11, 2020 Updated: December 11, 2020

A further 20 House Republicans have added their names to a legal brief in support of the Texas Supreme Court case that challenges the 2020 election results.

Yesterday, 106 Republican representatives gave notice of their intention to file a brief in support of the plaintiff’s case against four battleground states. That number had risen to 126 by the time the request was formally filed (pdf) today.

The Supreme Court has yet to decide whether it will hear the case, which was first brought by the state of Texas before a further six states asked to join as plaintiffs along with President Donald Trump.

In total, 18 attorneys general—all Republican—have backed the case through joining or filing amicus briefs in support.

Twenty Democratic attorneys general filed a brief on Dec. 10 in support of the defendants.

In their amicus brief filed on Dec. 11, the group of House Republicans echoed the plaintiffs’ case that the four states of Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin violated the Constitution by usurping the authority from their own legislatures to set the rules for appointing electors.

“The legislature of every Defendant state had established detailed rules by which that state’s appointment of presidential electors should have been conducted,” states the brief. “However, in the months before the 2020 election, those rules were deliberately changed by both state and non-state actors.”

They also called on the court to grant the request for a temporary restraining order on the states in question to prevent them certifying elections or allowing electors to be selected.

The request by the plaintiffs essentially asks the Supreme Court to hit pause on the presidential election process while the case is being considered.

Ultimately, the plaintiffs are calling (pdf) for judges to cancel any electoral votes already cast by the four states, direct them to select new electors or appoint none, ban them from using their current election results to appoint electors, and authorize special elections for presidential electors.

So far, the Supreme Court already rejected one case brought against the state of Pennsylvania by Rep. Mike Kelly, (R-Pa.).

Unlike other cases, the one filed by Texas gets a direct line to the Supreme Court, which is the only court that can hear cases of states suing other states.

So far, on the Republican side, attorneys general representing five states have yet to take action on the case: Idaho, Alaska, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Kentucky.

The four defendant states and the 20 Democratic attorneys general constitute all but one of the Democratic attorneys general in the United States. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller was the only Democrat who hadn’t joined the lawsuit as of the evening of Dec. 10. Georgia has a Republican attorney general.

The states that also filed briefs in support of Texas are Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

The Trump campaign and the states of Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Utah filed formal motions to intervene in the lawsuit on behalf of Texas. None of the Democratic attorneys general have yet filed interventions.

The four defendant states have each filed separate briefs in opposition to the case.

“Texas seeks to invalidate elections in four states for yielding results with which it disagrees,” the Pennsylvania brief (pdf) states. “Its request for this Court to exercise its original jurisdiction and then anoint Texas’ preferred candidate for President is legally indefensible and is an affront to principles of constitutional democracy.”

Announcing the filing of the original case, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement, “Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin destroyed that trust and compromised the security and integrity of the 2020 election.”

“The states violated statutes enacted by their duly elected legislatures, thereby violating the Constitution.”

Ivan Penchoucov contributed to this report.

Follow Simon on Twitter: @SPVeazey