On Friday evening, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit filed Monday by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that sought to overturn the presidential election results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin.
All four of those battleground states went to President-elect Joe Biden, but Paxton hoped the Supreme Court would buy into his claims that their pandemic-inspired changes to election laws to make mail-in voting easier were unconstitutional, and would then allow each state's Republican-led legislature to appoint its own slate of electors to the Electoral College, thus throwing the election to President Donald Trump.
"Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections," the court wrote in an unsigned order. "All other pending motions are dismissed as moot."
Paxton's suit was seen by many as a brazen attempt to curry favor with Trump, potentially with the hopes that he may receive a pardon from the lame duck president, as Paxton is currently under federal investigation connected to a bribery scandal that led to a mass mutiny against him by his top Republican deputies within the Office of the Attorney General. Paxton is also under indictment in Texas in a securities fraud case from over five years ago.
The suit was definitely on Trump's radar: in a tweet earlier this week, he called it "the big one" in terms of having a shot at flipping the election in his favor, and Paxton had lunch with the president at the White House on Thursday.
Despite the fact that Paxton's lawsuit was roundly mocked by election experts and legal scholars as being laughably lacking in merit, it was still supported by 17 other Republican attorneys general across the country. Over 100 Republican U.S. Representatives also signed a letter supporting Paxton's attempt to effectively throw out the votes of millions of Americans, including Houston's own Rep. Dan Crenshaw.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.