Indiana’s former chief elections officer and its next attorney general is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to toss out the votes of 20.4 million Americans in four states to help secure a second term for Republican President Donald Trump. Republican Attorney General-elect Todd Rokita, a Munster native, announced his support Tuesday for a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas that seeks scuttle all the votes cast for president in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia, and to have the Republican-controlled legislatures in those states appoint Trump electors, instead of the Joe Biden electors chosen by the people. Texas claims officials in all four states altered their election laws without legislative approval under the guise of the COVID-19 pandemic, triggering such rampant voter fraud, particularly with mail-in ballots, that the extraordinary remedy of throwing out every vote is required. Records show the evidence for Texas’ allegations has been summarily rejected by numerous federal courts and election officials in the four states, and indeed all 50 states, which have certified their election results notwithstanding Trump’s continuing allegations of fraud. Nevertheless, Rokita said millions of Indiana citizens “have deep concerns” about the presidential election, particularly as “some in the media and the political class simply try to sidestep legitimate issues raised about the election for the sake of expediency.”
Texas files an audacious suit with the Supreme Court challenging the election results. | Adam Liptak/The New York Times
The state of Texas filed an audacious lawsuit in the Supreme Court on Tuesday against four other states, asking the justices to extend the Dec. 14 deadline for certification of presidential electors. The suit, filed by the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, said Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin had engaged in election irregularities that require investigation, and it asked the court to “enjoin the use of unlawful election results without review and ratification by the defendant states’ legislatures.” Legal experts called the suit outlandish, and it comes at a time when Mr. Paxton is battling a scandal in his own state over whistle-blower allegations that he engaged in bribery and other wrongdoing to illegally help a wealthy Austin real estate developer and political donor. “It looks like we have a new leader in the ‘craziest lawsuit filed to purportedly challenge the election’ category,” Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, wrote on Twitter. The Constitution gives the Supreme Court “original jurisdiction” to hear disputes “in which a state shall be party.” In such cases, the Supreme Court acts much like a trial court, appointing a special master to hear evidence and issue recommendations. Though the Constitution seems to require the court to hear cases brought by states, the court has ruled that it has discretion to turn them down and often does. When the court does exercise its original jurisdiction, it is usually to adjudicate disputes between two states over issues like water rights. In 2016, the justices turned down a request from Nebraska and Oklahoma to file a challenge to Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana. The states said the Colorado law had spillover effects, taxing neighboring states’ criminal justice systems and hurting the health of their residents.