Courts

U.S. Supreme Court Throws Out Texas AG Paxton's Last-Ditch Election Challenge

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's lawsuit against four battleground states was thrown out the by U.S. Supreme Court Friday night.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's lawsuit against four battleground states was thrown out the by U.S. Supreme Court Friday night. Screenshot
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.
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Schaefer Edwards is a staff writer at the Houston Press who covers local and regional news. A lifelong Texan and adopted Houstonian, he loves NBA basketball and devouring Tex-Mex while his cat watches in envy.
Contact: Schaefer Edwards