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US election 2020

Supreme Court rejects Trump lawsuit in Texas

The President's attempts to overturn the election result received a major setback on Friday as the Court voted without dissention to dismiss Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's baseless claims.

The case brought by Attorney General Ken Paxton was dismissed by the Supreme Court, as Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett voted against the President.
Stefani ReynoldsAFP

President Trump’s hopes of contesting the result of the 2020 election in the Supreme Court have been dashed for the second time this week. On Friday the Court ruled against a lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton which called for election results to be overturned in four key states.

Although Paxton’s only real area of jurisdiction is the state of Texas, the Trump loyalist was attempting to contest the results in four other states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia. President-elect Joe Biden won all four of these battleground states.

In recent days a total of 127 Republican lawmakers had publically gave their support to the lawsuit, including several House Republican leaders like Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Republican Policy Committee Chairman Gary Palmer.

What did the Supreme Court say about the Texas lawsuit?

On Tuesday an earlier attempt to have an election dispute put to the Supreme Court was swiftly rejected, with a only single sentence offered in response: "The application for injunctive relief presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied."

This time around it took three days for the Supreme Court to deny the attempt to challenge the election result, and returned the result without any public dissentions from the nine Justices. Most crushingly for the President all three of his nominees (Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett) voted against hearing the case. Of the nine only Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said they would have allowed the case to be filed, but refused to grant any other relief.

The Supreme Court document released on Friday said “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.”

What next for Trump’s election battles?

The President’s legal team and associated lawsuits have been almost roundly dismissed in their attempts to challenge the result of the 2020 presidential election. However even amongst the 56 post-election lawsuits that have now gone against the Trump campaign, Friday’s Supreme Court defeat feels particularly significant.

The ruling undermines Trump’s belief that his specially-selected conservative Justices would rule in his favour on election lawsuits, something he alluded to just earlier this week. On Tuesday the President quote-tweeted a post by an anonymous user called ‘Major Patriot’, which forwarded the bizarre conspiracy theory with a picture of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, with beams of light added over her eyes. Speaking ahead of Barrett’s confirmation, Trump said he needed “a ninth Justice in place because he was "counting on" the Supreme Court to "look at the ballots.”

In all likelihood Trump will continue to publically contest the result of the election and White House sources have revealed that the President is unlikely to ever consider conceding to President-elect Biden.

So far most Republican Senators have publically supported Trump’s right to challenge the election result in the courts, suggesting that he is free to do so until the Electoral College vote is returned on 14 December. With that deadline fast approaching , Republican lawmakers will have to decide whether they are to finally recognise Biden as the winner or stay loyal to a lame duck President entering his final month in office.


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