Supreme Court rejects Texas election challenge


The Supreme Court announced Friday it won’t hear a lawsuit by the state of Texas that sought to overturn Democrat Joseph R. Biden’s victories in four swing states, dealing a massive blow to President Trump’s nearly extinguished prospects for a second term.

The high court said in a brief order that Texas “has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.”

“All other pending motions are dismissed as moot,” the court said.

Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani vowed to fight on.

“We’re not finished, believe me,” Mr. Giuliani said on Newsmax. He said the president will “look at other options.”

At a White House holiday party on Friday night, after the court’s decision was released, guests were told that the president would not be joining them to make remarks.

The decision came despite the president imploring the justices publicly to “save” the nation from a Biden presidency. Mr. Trump had called the case “the big one,” elevating it in importance above all the other legal challenges filed by his campaign team in six states.

Conservative Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Clarence Thomas said they believed the Court was required to hear the case. But they said they “would not grant other relief.”

Supporters of the president had hoped that Mr. Trump’s three appointees to the Court — Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — might come to his aid. But legal analysts in both parties said from the start that the case was a legal “Hail Mary.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, had asked the Supreme Court to invalidate Mr. Biden’s wins in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. He argued that those states illegally expanded their mail-in balloting without the approval of their elected legislatures.

Mr. Paxton called the high court’s move “unfortunate.”

“I will continue to tirelessly defend the integrity and security of our elections and hold accountable those who shirk established election law for their own convenience,” Mr. Paxton said.

A total of 126 House Republicans and 18 other Republican-led states joined Texas in asking the high court to reverse Mr. Biden’s wins in the swing states. But GOP senators largely either stayed out of the case or criticized Texas’ move.

Sen. Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican, praised the Supreme Court’s decision.

“Since Election Night, a lot of people have been confusing voters by spinning Kenyan Birther-type, ‘Chavez rigged the election from the grave’ conspiracy theories, but every American who cares about the rule of law should take comfort that the Supreme Court — including all three of President Trump’s picks — closed the book on the nonsense,” Mr. Sasse said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said the high court “rightly dismissed out of hand the extreme, unlawful and undemocratic GOP lawsuit to overturn the will of millions of American voters.”

The four battleground states had urged the court not to hear the case, saying Texas didn’t suffer an injury sufficient for bringing the court action. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, called Texas’ move “seditious” and “bogus.”

The president urged the high court publicly several times on Friday to rule in his favor.

“If the Supreme Court shows great Wisdom and Courage, the American People will win perhaps the most important case in history, and our Electoral Process will be respected again!” Mr. Trump tweeted.

The president also dangled a promise to the justices — on the presumption that he would gain a second term — that he won’t allow Democrats in Congress to “pack” the high court if they win the Senate majority in two runoff elections in Georgia next month.

“If the two [Republican] Senators from Georgia should lose, which would be a horrible thing for our Country, I am the only thing that stands between ‘Packing the Court‘ (last number heard, 25), and preserving it,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “I will not, under any circumstances, Pack the Court!”

The high court’s action came ahead of Monday’s vote in the Electoral College. Under federal law, members of the Electoral College will meet in all 50 state capitals to cast their votes for president, one of the final steps in certifying Mr. Biden’s win.

A spokesman for Mr. Biden, the presumptive president-elect, called the decision “no surprise.” He said dozens of judges and Attorney General William Barr also have dismissed the president’s “baseless attempts to deny that he lost the election.”

“President-elect Biden’s clear and commanding victory will be ratified by the Electoral College on Monday, and he will be sworn in on January 20th,” said spokesman Michael Gwin.

Mr. Shapiro said after learning of the decision, “The U.S. Supreme Court saw through this seditious abuse of the judicial process, and its swift denial should make anyone contemplating further attacks on our election think twice.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, also a Democrat, said the decision “is an important reminder that we are a nation of laws, and though some may bend to the desire of a single individual, the courts will not.”

Texas Republican Party Chairman Allen West suggested secession might be the answer for pro-Trump states.

“Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the Constitution,” Mr. West said.

He said the Court’s decision means that states “can violate the U.S. Constitution and not be held accountable.”

“This decision will have far-reaching ramifications for the future of our constitutional republic,” Mr. West said.

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