From our correspondent in the United States,
According to Donald Trump, this is the “big one”. On Wednesday, the US president officially asked the US Supreme Court to join the lawsuit filed by Texas the day before. The goal: to block the big voters chosen by four states won by Joe Biden. And in the process put in the trash the votes of nearly 20 million Americans, in what would represent an unprecedented institutional earthquake. But according to many legal experts, this last-ditch attempt, like the previous one, rejected Monday by the Supreme Court, has little hope of success.
What the Texas complaint says
It looks like we have a new leader in the “craziest lawsuit filed to purportedly challenge the election” category:
The State of Texas is suing Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin *directly* in #SCOTUS.
(Spoiler alert: The Court is *never* going to hear this one.) pic.twitter.com/2L4GmdCB6I
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) December 8, 2020
Texas has filed a lawsuit against four states won by Joe Biden: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia. It is led by Lone Star State Justice Minister Ken Paxton, a Donald Trump loyalist under investigation for corruption – who, critics say, could seek a presidential pardon. The complaint claims that the measures to facilitate postal voting in these states are “unconstitutional”. Texas is therefore asking for an injunction to block their voters or let the legislatures – controlled by the Republicans – choose them. This would ultimately allow Donald Trump to be re-elected by bypassing the verdict of the polls.
What the 17 states that have provided support say
🔴17 states (won by Trump) join Texas’ complaint before the Supreme Court to reject the votes of 4 states (20 million voters). SCOTUS can:
– reject without explanation
– grab it then throw it back on the merits
– take it up and listen to oral arguments pic.twitter.com/uKHmzkuuQh
– Philippe Berry (@ptiberry) December 9, 2020
On Wednesday, 17 states – all won by Donald Trump – stepped up friends House (friends of the Court). They are therefore not asking the Supreme Court to become parties but are supporting the Texas complaint. According to them, it is of “important national interest” because “the impact of the vote in each state is affected by the votes in the other states”.
Ce que this Donald Trump
Trump files a motion to become a plaintiff in the Texas lawsuit. To see if he does not shoot himself in the foot because if Scotus can directly play the arbiter of a dispute between several states, she can say that Trump has already lost in other jurisdictions pic.twitter.com/f2dIfejmin
– Philippe Berry (@ptiberry) December 9, 2020
The American president, he filed in the wake of a motion to intervene, a remedy by which he asks to become a complainant. Not in his capacity as President of the United States or his campaign, but in a personal capacity. In 39 pages, he resumes his accusations of a so-called fraud, the evidence of which has been rejected 50 times by the courts. His lawyer also claims that no candidate lost in winning Ohio and Florida. What is false: Richard Nixon lost in 1960 despite a victory in these two states.
What the experts say
“It’s a press release disguised as a complaint,” said law professor Rick Hasen, who chronicles the appeals on his Election law blog site. “We have a new candidate in the category ” craziest election complaint ‘”, agrees his Texas colleague Steve Vladeck on Twitter. Even Texas Senator John Cornyn, a lawyer by training, said he was “not convinced” by the legal arguments of the complaint.
On paper, the Supreme Court has the authority to act as arbitrators in the event of a dispute between two states. This is why Texas was able to file a complaint directly before the instance without going through the traditional judicial circuit. But each American state enjoys great freedom to organize the poll. In some, such as Oregon, Colorado or Utah, all voters have long had the opportunity to vote by mail. Others had more restrictions and relaxed them with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Will the Supreme Court agree to seize the case? Rick Hasen and Steve Vladeck doubt it. If the body had wanted to interfere in the election, it would have done so on Tuesday, which marked the stage of the “safe harbor”, the date on which appeals must be resolved before the vote of the electoral college, which must take place. meet on December 14.
The State of Pennsylvania, in its response on Tuesday, implored the judges not to open this Pandora’s box, writing: “Once the door of a judicial invalidation of the results of a presidential election is opened, it would be very difficult. to close. The appeals would never end, California could, for example, attack states that deny the right to vote to citizens convicted of a felony (crime). According to Pennsylvania, canceling the entire state vote would cause “a loss of public confidence in our incalculable constitutional order.” “