Texas AG: Supreme Court Should At Least Hear Our Arguments

Texas AG: Supreme Court Should At Least Hear Our Arguments
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to reporters at a news conference outside the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 9, 2016. (Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)
Janita Kan

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Sunday expressed regret over the Supreme Court’s decision to deny their request to sue four battleground states, saying that the justices should have at least heard the arguments in their case.

Paxton made the comments during an interview with Fox’s Maria Bartiromo when he lamented the fact the nation’s top court would not provide Texan voters a course to seek relief.

“If my people are harmed, which I view them as having been harmed, by the fact that other states didn’t follow their election laws and didn’t follow the Constitution, how do I address the fact that my voters are affected by a national election, that potentially was not done correctly, where there was fraud, and in that state law and federal law were not followed?” he asked.

Late Friday, the nation’s top court rejected Texas’s request to sue Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin over allegations that state officials violated the Constitution and treated voters unfairly in their handling of the 2020 general election.

The court opined that Texas did not have the legal standing—or right—to sue under the Constitution because it has not shown a valid interest to intervene in how other states handle their elections, according to the majority opinion.

“Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections,” the order (pdf) read. “All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.”

Justice Samuel Alito issued a separate statement to say he would have granted Texas’s request to sue but not the preliminary injunction, as he believes the Supreme Court is obligated to take up any case that falls within its “original jurisdiction,” meaning the court has the power to hear a case for the first time as opposed to reviewing a lower court’s decision. Justice Clarence Thomas joined Alito in his statement.

Texas was hoping to obtain a declaration from the Supreme Court that the four states conducted their 2020 election in violation of the U.S. Constitution. It had also asked the court to prohibit the counting of the Electoral College votes cast by the four states. For the defendant states that have already appointed electors, the suit asked the justices to order state legislatures appoint new electors, as is outlined by the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit received support from 18 state Republican attorneys general, in which six of them asked the court to join the case as intervening parties. Meanwhile, the president expressed support for the suit, also asking to intervene in the case.

Paxton also said he is concerned that the issues observed in the Georgia presidential race may again arise during the January Senate runoffs.

“I am concerned about that because now the precedents been set,” he said. “So now going forward, how do we know in Georgia whether we can trust those results either, and those also affect us because the U.S. Senate, obviously, if it flips, it affects my state and having an ability to get things done.”

Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
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