Montana’s Governor, Attorney General File Opposing Briefs to Texas Supreme Court Lawsuit

December 11, 2020 Updated: December 11, 2020

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is opposing a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas challenging the 2020 election results in four states.

Bullock filed a brief, docketed late Thursday, in support of the defendant states—Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin—arguing that the Supreme Court should reject Texas’s request to sue.

Montana is one of the states in which President Donald Trump won by a large margin in the November election. Bullock, a Democrat, argued that Montana, like the four defendant states, had expanded mail-in voting in the 2020 election, which means the outcome of the Texas case would impact the results of the election in his state.

He also argued that bringing a lawsuit in the Supreme Court “was not a procedurally appropriate way to challenge state election laws.”

“As this Court has repeatedly emphasized, challenges to state election laws should occur in an orderly fashion, on a non-emergency basis, well in advance of elections, according to ordinary rules of civil procedure,” Bullock wrote (pdf).

“They should not be raised in the Supreme Court, on an emergency basis, in an effort to overturn the result of an election that has already occurred.”

He went on to say that attempts to challenge the election results on a state-by-state basis had also proven to be unsuccessful, citing lawsuits brought by the Trump campaign in Montana before the election to challenge Bullock’s order to expand mail-in voting.

However, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, a Republican, joined with the 17 other states with Republican attorneys general who have filed amicus briefs in support of Texas.

The motion filed by Texas asks the Supreme Court to allow it to sue the four battleground states. The Lone Star State is accusing the four defendant states of changing election rules in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Electors Clause, unequal treatment of voters, and causing voting irregularities by relaxing ballot-integrity protections under state law, opening up the potential for voter fraud.

“Taken together, these flaws affect an outcome-determinative numbers of popular votes in a group of States that cast outcome-determinative numbers of electoral votes,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued in his brief (pdf).

Of the 17 Republican attorney generals that filed briefs to back Texas, six of those states—Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Utah—have asked the top court to let them intervene in the case should the justices accept to hear the case. Trump and a group of state legislators and voters are also asking to join the case.

Arizona’s attorney general also asked the court for permission to file a brief to support Texas.

Meanwhile, Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost backed neither party but asked the court to review the fundamental question presented in Texas’s request.

Alaskan Gov. Mike Dunleavy told The Epoch Times in a statement that his attorney general was unable to review the motion in time to take action on the case.

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

This case is cited as Texas v. Pennsylvania (22O155).

This article was updated to show that Montana’s Attorney General filed a brief in support of the Texas lawsuit.

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