Supreme Court rejects lawsuit backed by Missouri AG Schmitt trying to overturn presidential election

By: - December 11, 2020 6:51 pm

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (photo courtesy of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office).

WASHINGTON —The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday turned aside a Texas lawsuit that sought to derail the presidential election results from four battleground states, despite pressure on the justices from President Donald Trump on social media.

“Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections,” according to the unsigned court order. “All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.”

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, joined with 17 other GOP attorneys general to file a brief in support of the lawsuit, the second time he has gotten involved in a long-shot lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

While most legal experts said the lawsuit had no merit, Schmitt argued it was essential to protect the integrity of the 2020 election.

More half of the Republicans in the U.S. House — including every Republican member from Missouri — also signed on to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit, which sought to invalidate the voting results of Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Paxton alleged that officials in those four states won by President-elect Joe Biden illegally changed voting laws, which caused voting irregularities and changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Trump made similar allegations on Twitter and on Friday he told the justices what they should do.

“If the Supreme Court shows great Wisdom and Courage, the American People will win perhaps the most important case in history, and our Electoral Process will be respected again!,” he tweeted.

The FBI, U.S. Attorney General and Department of Justice have repeatedly stated that there is no evidence of voter fraud or election irregularities. On Monday, members of the electoral college will meet in statehouses to cast their ballots, confirming Biden’s win.

Members of the U.S. Senate on Friday failed to mount a drive to back the Texas suit similar to that of the House GOP.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, expressed doubt to reporters on Capitol Hill that the lawsuit would succeed.

“I don’t think it’s likely to prevail given what the Supreme Court did in the Pennsylvania case, but I’m not familiar with the details of the lawsuit,” she said, according to pool reports.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., told reporters that the Supreme Court could possibly find that the case has no standing.

He added that there’s not an attempt among Senate Republicans to do the same.

“My guess is it’s just nobody here sort of rounded up the troops,” he said. “Usually the way these things work on the amicus brief side… is somebody takes the lead and then says ‘I’ll write it and then I’ll get people to sign on.’ This was a pretty short fuse thing.’”

But some Senate Republicans said that the lawsuit is baseless and that states should not attempt to meddle in the affairs of other states.

“I’m never surprised by the House of Representatives,” said Sen. Lamar Alexande, R-Tenn.

Earlier Friday, he appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he questioned the legal argument underlying the Texas suit.

“I mean, our position, my position, Republicans believe that states are in charge of elections,” Alexander said. “And Texas is a big state, but I don’t know exactly why it has a right to tell four other states how to run their elections.”

A senior New Jersey Democrat, Rep. Bill Pascrell, chastised House Republicans who supported the Texas suit. Pascrell called for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to not swear in the returning and new GOP members who signed the brief into the 117th Congress.

“Simply stated,” he said in a statement, “men and women who would act to tear the United States government apart cannot serve as Members of the Congress.”

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Ariana Figueroa
Ariana Figueroa

Ariana Figueroa covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom, a network of state-based nonprofit news outlets that includes The Missouri Independent. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance. Before joining States Newsroom, Ariana covered public health and chemical policy on Capitol Hill for E&E News. As a Florida native, she's worked for the Miami Herald and her hometown paper, the Tampa Bay Times. Her work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and NPR. She is a graduate of the University of Florida.

MORE FROM AUTHOR