Washington – The US Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a bid by Texas to overturn the results of the presidential election, which Republican Donald Trump lost to Democrat Joe Biden, in a fresh setback for the president.
The longshot suit lodged late Tuesday against four states key in the November 3 vote — Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — challenged Biden’s victory in each jurisdiction.
But the Supreme Court, made up of nine justices including three appointed by Trump, said Texas — which voted for the president — “has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.”
The court’s decision “is an important reminder that we are a nation of laws, and though some may bend to the desire of a single individual, the courts will not,” tweeted Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel.
Biden spokesman Mike Gwin said the ruling was “no surprise.”
“Dozens of judges, election officials from both parties, and Trump’s own Attorney General have dismissed his baseless attempts to deny that he lost the election,” he said.
The Texas suit had been seen as audacious and legally unsound, given that no one state has any legal right to interfere in another’s voting processes. Even so, it was backed by 106 Republican lawmakers and 17 state attorneys general.
Texas alleged that the results in the other four states were “unconstitutional” because of their heavy use of “fraud-prone” mail-in votes during the coronavirus pandemic.
It offered no proof of significant fraud, and didn’t challenge the use of mailed ballots in states Trump won.
The suit cited numerous alleged examples of potential fraud already rejected by lower courts.
Even so, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani insisted the allegations were “sound.”
“They have to be tested but that’s what the court is for. They can’t just dismiss it like that,” he told Fox News.
White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said on Fox that the court “dodged” and “hid behind procedure.”
In a tweet following the verdict, President Trump said the court had “let us down” and accused it of having “No Wisdom, No Courage!”
But perhaps the most eyebrow raising reaction came from the chairman of the Texas Republican Party, who slammed the ruling and appeared to suggest the state should secede.
“Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution,” Allen West said in a party statement.
Dozens of court losses
Trump and his allies have filed dozens of lawsuits in several key states, almost all of which have been thrown out by the courts.
On Tuesday the Supreme Court also refused his bid to overturn his loss in Pennsylvania.
Trump had hoped that the high court, whose bench he has tipped solidly to the right, would intervene in his favour.
In 2000, the Supreme Court halted a recount in Florida, where George W. Bush was only 537 votes ahead of Democrat Al Gore, allowing the Republican to win the election.
Minutes before Friday’s ruling came down Trump released a new TV ad again falsely claiming that the election was stolen, calling it an “outrage” and telling supporters to contact their legislators.
The lawsuit came as all 50 states plus Washington, DC have formally certified their vote tallies, opening the way to convene the Electoral College.
There is no doubt that Biden won the presidency, with state-by-state wins giving him 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.
The Democrat snagged 51.3 per cent of the ballots compared to Trump’s 46.9 per cent, a seven million vote margin.
The Electoral College is set to affirm Biden’s win on December 14, and he will be sworn in on January 20. — AFP