Pennsylvania responded to Texas’ lawsuit seeking to bar Pennsylvania and three other battleground states from voting in the electoral college, calling the lawsuit a “seditious abuse of the judicial process.”
Pennsylvania filed a response to Texas’ lawsuit in the Supreme Court on Thursday hours ahead of the deadline set by the court. In the filing, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro rebuffed Texas for attempting to “invalidate elections in four states for yielding results with which it disagrees.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging the election results of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, arguing that unconstitutional changes to their election laws ahead of the 2020 general election rendered their results illegitimate. The Supreme Court ordered the accused states to respond to the suit by Thursday afternoon.
“What Texas is doing in this proceeding is to ask this Court to reconsider a mass of baseless claims about problems with the election that have already been considered, and rejected, by this Court and other courts,” Shapiro wrote in response. “Texas obviously lacks standing to bring such claims, which, in any event, are barred by laches, and are moot, meritless, and dangerous.”
“Texas has not suffered harm simply because it dislikes the result of the election, and nothing in the text, history, or structure of the Constitution supports Texas’s view that it can dictate the manner in which four other states run their elections,” he continued. “Nor is that view grounded in any precedent from this Court. Texas does not seek to have the Court interpret the Constitution, so much as disregard it.”
Ohio, not a party in the lawsuit, filed an amicus brief on Thursday also arguing against Texas, but taking a different tack than Pennsylvania. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost argued that while the concerns Texas raised in its lawsuit are valid, the Supreme Court has no authority to void the outcome of the battleground states’ elections.
Under Article II of the Constitution, “[f]ederal courts, just like state courts, lack authority to change the legislatively chosen method for appointing presidential electors. And so federal courts, just like state courts, lack authority to order legislatures to appoint electors without regard to the results of an already-completed election,” Yost writes.
Republicans have been rallying around the Texas lawsuit, which President Trump deemed “the big one” on Wednesday when he announced that the federal government would be “intervening” in the case. Over 100 GOP members of the House jointly filed an amicus brief supporting the lawsuit on Thursday. On Wednesday, 17 states attorneys general signed onto a similar amicus brief backing Texas. Six states have joined Texas challenging the battleground states’ elections.
In a statement announcing the Tuesday lawsuit, Paxton accused the battleground states of exploiting “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.”
“Trust in the integrity of our election processes is sacrosanct and binds our citizenry and the States in this Union together,” he said. “Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin destroyed that trust and compromised the security and integrity of the 2020 election. The states violated statutes enacted by their duly elected legislatures, thereby violating the Constitution.”