Texas

In New Lawsuit, Texas Contests Election Results In Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the battleground states from casting “unlawful and constitutionally tainted votes” in the Electoral College. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, experts say.

In the suit, Paxton claims that pandemic-era changes to election procedures in those states violated federal law and allowed voter fraud, which election officials have rejected.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing four battleground states — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — whose election results handed the White House to President-elect Joe Biden.

In the suit, he claims that pandemic-era changes to election procedures in those states violated federal law, and asks the U.S. Supreme Court to block the states from voting in the Electoral College.

The last-minute bid, which legal experts have already characterized as a longshot, comes alongside dozens of similar attempts by President Donald Trump and his political allies. The majority of those lawsuits have already failed.

There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, officials in most states and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr have said. Biden won in all four states where Paxton is challenging the results.

In a filing to the high court Tuesday, Paxton claims the four battleground states broke the law by instituting pandemic-related changes to election policies, whether "through executive fiat or friendly lawsuits, thereby weakening ballot integrity."

Paxton claimed that these changes allowed for voter fraud to occur — a conclusion experts and election officials have rejected — and said the court should push back a Dec. 14 deadline by which states must appoint their presidential electors.

"That deadline, however, should not cement a potentially illegitimate election result in the middle of this storm," attorneys for Texas wrote.

Paxton and Trump are political allies whose interests often line up in court, as with Texas' challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Paxton, in public appearances, often characterizes their relationship as a friendly one, sharing the story of the time the president called while Paxton was in the shower.

Paxton, who has been under indictment since 2015 for felony securities fraud charges, is facing fresh criminal allegations from eight of his top deputies, who said they believe he broke the law by using the agency to do favors for a political donor. The FBI is investigating Paxton over those claims, according to the Associated Press. Paxton has denied wrongdoing.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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