Georgia State Senators File Supreme Court Brief to Support Texas’ Lawsuit Against Georgia

December 11, 2020 Updated: December 11, 2020

About two-dozen members and members-elect of the Georgia state House and Senate filed an amici curiae brief supporting Texas’ Supreme Court lawsuit against Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

In a brief (pdf) filed with the court late on Thursday, Georgia state Sens. William Ligon, Greg Dolezal, Brandon Beach, Brandon Jones as well as many more Republican members of the Legislature signed on to support Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s suit that argued the four states made unconstitutional changes to their election laws.

“In the months before the November 3, 2020 election, and without notice to or permission from the State legislature, Georgia election officials committed acts that were contrary to Georgia statutory law,” the senators wrote via their lawyers. “These acts described below usurped the plenary power granted by the U. S. Constitution to the Georgia legislature to prescribe the manner of elections held for federal officials in Georgia.”

The senators argued that because of the high-stakes nature of the lawsuit, the Supreme Court should take it up and support Paxton’s assertions.

“Elections generate passion, which continues six weeks after the Presidential Election,” the brief said. “These passions can cool only when both sides are confident that the election was fair and transparent, pursuant to the rules established before the election and followed throughout. As demonstrated in this amicus brief, the rules established by the General Assembly of Georgia for the Presidential Election were not followed.”

Also on Thursday, several prominent lawmakers in Pennsylvania, including the state House and majority leader filed a similar brief supporting Paxton’s suit against Pennsylvania’s government.

Paxton, on Friday, said in a filing to the Supreme Court that Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia have not been able to address “grave issues” raised by his earlier petition, instead “choosing to hide behind other court venues and decisions.”

It came after Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, wrote that Paxton is making a bid to “exercise its original jurisdiction and then anoint Texas’s preferred candidate for President,” which he argued is “is legally indefensible and is an [affront] to principles of constitutional democracy.”

However, the Texas attorney general and other attorneys said that “an injunction should issue because Defendant States have not—and cannot—defend their actions.” Texas is not asking the Supreme Court to reelect President Trump, according to the filing, nor does it seek to disenfranchise lawful voters, he said.

“To both points, Texas asks this Court to recognize the obvious fact that Defendant States’ maladministration of the 2020 election makes it impossible to know which candidate garnered the majority of lawful votes. The Court’s role is to strike unconstitutional action and remand to the actors that the Constitution and Congress vest with authority for the next step,” the Friday response stipulated.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.