Trump Asks Supreme Court for Permission to Join Texas Election Lawsuit

December 9, 2020 Updated: December 10, 2020

President Donald Trump has asked the nation’s top court for permission to join a lawsuit filed by Texas against four battleground states.

Trump’s lawyer filed a motion to intervene with the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, asking the court to allow the president to join the Texas case that alleges Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin had unconstitutionally changed election laws, treated voters unequally, and triggered significant voting irregularities by relaxing ballot integrity measures. The lawyer said Trump is intervening in the case as a candidate for reelection to the office of President of the United States.

The case has not been officially accepted for review by the nation’s top court. Texas on Dec. 7 filed a request asking the justices for permission to sue the four key contested states in an attempt to protect the integrity of the 2020 election.

The Lone Star state argues that the four defendant states acted in a way that violated their own election laws and thereby breached the Constitution through enacting and implementing new measures, rules, and procedures shortly before the Nov. 3 election.

In its filing (pdf), Trump’s lawyer argues that the president should be afforded the opportunity to intervene in the case so that he can “protect his unique and substantial personal interests as a candidate for re-election to the Office of President in the November 3, 2020 election.”

Based on the allegations made in the suit, the lawyer argued, the number of ballots affected by alleged “illegal conduct” by state election officials in the four states exceeds the current margin between the president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Because the total number of electoral votes in the four contested states has the ability to change the outcome of the election, Trump “clearly has a stake in the outcome of this litigation,” the lawyer added.

Trump’s lawyer also filed a Bill of Complaint, supplementing the suit filed by Texas. Trump’s version outlined additional complaints, including the lack of signature verification in Georgia.

The request comes the same day that 17 states, led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, backed Texas’s efforts by urging the top court to take up the case. They underscored that Texas’s lawsuit is of great public importance and requires the attention of the Supreme Court.

The case, they argued, presents important constitutional issues under the Electors Clause in the U.S. Constitution. It also raises concerns about erosion of election integrity and public confidence due to the handling of the 2020 election.

Meanwhile, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed another request to the court later in the day, asking for permission to file his own friend-of-the-court brief in support of Texas (pdf).

Texas is hoping to obtain a declaration from the Supreme Court that the four states conducted the 2020 election in violation of the U.S. Constitution. It is also asking the court to prohibit the count of the Electoral College votes cast by the four states. If the defendant states that have already appointed electors, it asks the court to direct the state legislatures to appoint new electors, in line with the Constitution.

Meanwhile, Texas is also seeking a preliminary injunction or a temporary restraining order to block the four states from taking action to certify their election results or to prevent the state’s presidential electors from taking any official action. The presidential electors are scheduled to meet on Dec. 14.

The court has ordered the defendant states to respond to Texas’s motions by 3 p.m. on Dec. 10.

Earlier on Wednesday, the president described the case as “the big one,” adding that the “country needs a victory.”

While making remarks during a summit on COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday, Trump made a comment about his election challenges.

“Now, let’s see whether or not somebody has the courage—whether it’s a legislator or legislatures, or whether it’s a justice of the Supreme Court or a number of justices of the Supreme Court. Let’s see if they have the courage to do what everybody in this country knows is right,” Trump said.

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

Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.

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