Jeramey Jannene

More States Want to Sue Wisconsin, Three Other States

Pro-Trump attorneys general allege "fraud" in states that went for Biden.

By - Dec 8th, 2020 06:26 pm
Observers watch workers at Milwaukee County's presidential recount. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Observers watch workers at Milwaukee County’s presidential recount. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Should the Supreme Court of the United States allow a suit against Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia to advance, more states want in. It’s part of what is increasingly viewed as a last chance effort to overturn the election in favor of Donald Trump.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a motion Monday requesting his case be heard.

“The four states exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the results of the 2020 General Election,” wrote Paxton in a news release. He argues that each state ignored rules enacted by its Legislature.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall would bring his state into the case, should it become one. “The unconstitutional actions and fraudulent votes in other states not only affect the citizens of those states, they affect the citizens of all states – of the entire United States,” said Marshall, without presenting any evidence of fraud or unconstitutional actions.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry also endorsed the move. “Louisiana citizens are damaged if elections in other states were conducted outside the confines of the Constitution while we obeyed the rules,” said Landry, alleging judicial overreach in Pennsylvania.

The Paxton motion is seen as a last chance to overturn the election in favor of Donald Trump. Tuesday afternoon, the Supreme Court declined, without comment, to hear a challenge to Pennsylvania’s election results. Even if separate Trump campaign challenges succeed in other states, Trump losing Pennsylvania would give Joe Biden the necessary 270 electoral college votes.

It’s not the first time attorneys general have sought to influence the election in states other than the one they represent. Marshall, Landry and Paxton joined a brief submitted in November to a suit brought by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania against the state’s counting of absentee ballots. They were joined by attorneys general from Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina and South Dakota. That case is not poised to overturn the state’s election results at this point.

Paxton, and Trump, want the Republican-controlled legislatures in each state to select the electoral college instead of voters.

The Electoral College is scheduled to meet on December 14th.

Paxton’s motion has drawn criticism from the attorneys general in the states he targets.

“The erosion of confidence in our democratic system isn’t attributable to the good people of Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia or Pennsylvania but rather to partisan officials, like Mr. Paxton, who place loyalty to a person over loyalty to their country,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel in a statement.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul responded to the motion, referencing a historic playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys.

“I feel sorry for Texans that their tax dollars are being wasted on such a genuinely embarrassing lawsuit. Texas is as likely to change the outcome of the Ice Bowl as it is to overturn the will of Wisconsin voters in the 2020 presidential election,” tweeted Kaul.

Paxton alleges an irregularity because Trump was winning as of 3 a.m. and Biden had “less than a one in quadrillion to the fourth power” chance of winning. Paxton’s motion ignores that Wisconsin and other states announced the number of absentee ballots that were outstanding in their largest cities and that they would not be reported until the morning of November 4th at the earliest.

In Wisconsin in particular he repeats the claims of the Trump campaign, attacking the absentee ballot process in the state’s two largest counties while ignoring counties Trump won. The Wisconsin Elections Commission‘s allowance of drop boxes and the acceptance of a non-profit election safety grant by the mayors of Green Bay, Kenosha, Madison, Milwaukee and Wisconsin are also singled out. Paxton says Dane County Clerk Scott McDonnell‘s and Milwaukee County Clerk George L. Christenson‘s (misspelled as Christensen) March guidance that voters could declare themselves “indefinitely confined” during the state’s Safer at Home order violated the law. A court reversed that guidance in April and multiple elections have since been held.

Paxton also advances a conspiracy theory from a United States Postal Service subcontractor Ethan J. Pease that even if true, wouldn’t have impacted election results. Based not on direct observation, but second-hand knowledge, Pease says that USPS employees were backdating ballots received after November 3rd in Madison. Wisconsin law requires absentee ballots to be received by a clerk by the close of polls (8:00 p.m.) on election day. Madison and its surrounding communities reported their results on November 3rd or shortly after midnight on November 4th. Each counted the ballots in a public location and no allegations of a post-8:00 p.m. mail delivery to any location have been made.

“By ignoring both state and federal law, these states have not only tainted the integrity of their own citizens’ vote, but of Texas and every other state that held lawful elections,” said Paxton in announcing his motion. “Their failure to abide by the rule of law casts a dark shadow of doubt over the outcome of the entire election. We now ask that the Supreme Court step in to correct this egregious error.”

Paxton, a Tea Party Republican first elected in 2015, is under indictment for securities fraud prior to taking office in 2015. He was in the Texas State Legislature at the time and has pled not guilty. In October 2020 he was accused of “bribery, abuse of office and other crimes” by seven of his senior aides.

“Think of the irony here,” said Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers in response to Paxton’s suit. “We have a Texas attorney general, who’s being investigated by the FBI for various improprieties. Numerous newspapers in Texas calling for his resignation. And he teams up with President Trump to try to take away the votes of the people of Wisconsin.”

UPDATE: Since this article was written, more attorneys general indicated their decision to join a future suit, should the Supreme Court allow it.

“As I have in other cases – I will help lead the effort in support of Texas’ #SCOTUS filing today. Missouri is in the fight,” tweeted Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

“Arkansans and Americans across the country have real concerns about the lack of integrity in our federal elections this year,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge in a statement pledging to support Texas in “all legally appropriate manners.”

Wisconsin Election Lawsuits

Having trouble keeping them all straight? Cases are listed in the order filed.

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More about the 2020 General Election

Read more about 2020 General Election here

More about the Trump's Election Lawsuits

Read more about Trump's Election Lawsuits here

Categories: Politics

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