Texas election challenge gains support from Trump campaign, 17 states

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AUSTIN, Texas (KAMC/KLBK)– A Texas lawsuit claiming four battleground states made “unconstitutional” changes to election laws ahead of the 2020 vote has gained support from other states and the president.

On Tuesday, the State of Texas announced a legal complaint filed directly to the United States Supreme Court against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

In a brief filed Wednesday by the State of Missouri in support of Texas, 16 more states also signed in support: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia. All states that fell to Trump in the election.

Donald Trump said via Twitter on Wednesday, “This is the big one,” and his campaign would intervene in support.

On Tuesday, the Attorney General for the State of Arkansas, Leslie Rutledge, said, “I have determined that I will support the motion in all legally appropriate manners.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel responded by publicly dismissing the Texas suit as “a publicity stunt, not a serious legal pleading.”

Steve Vladeck, a nationally-known law professor at the University of Texas said, “It looks like we have a new leader in the ‘craziest lawsuit filed to purportedly challenge the election’ category.”

The Texas lawsuit does not claim widespread fraud. The word widespread never appears, although it does claim protections against fraud were weakened. Instead, it focuses on the claim that votes were accepted and counted in violation of laws set up by the various state legislatures.

The Texas lawsuit claims that the authority to hold an election comes from the U.S. Constitution and therefore any election practice that violates the constitution (such as equal protection) is not permissible.

The Texas lawsuit asks that Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin be prohibited from using the election to choose electors for the electoral college. Texas claimed the only way to fix election violations at this point is for the legislatures of the various states to choose the electoral college electors directly.

According to the Associated Press, Biden’s victory was essentially locked in Tuesday by the so-called safe harbor deadline set by federal law for states to finish their certifications and resolve legal disputes. It’s an insurance policy to guard against Congress trying to manipulate the electoral votes that will be cast next week and sent to the Capitol for counting on Jan. 6.

These steps — the deadline, the convening of the Electoral College in state capitals, Congress’ count in early January — are rituals that are routinely ignored by the public at large. They became less ignorable when Trump began exploring any and all avenues to stay in power.

Altogether, Trump’s campaign or his allies have seen more than 35 of their court cases fail. Trump has won one, concerning deadlines for proof of identification for certain absentee ballots and mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, and it did not change the outcome.

CLICK HERE to read the Texas bill of complaint.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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