Can Trump Still Win the Election? Texas Supreme Court Lawsuit Chances

President Donald Trump's path back to the White House has narrowed in recent days as a majority of states have certified election results and a series of court cases unsuccessful.

More than 50 lawsuits challenging the results taken by the Trump campaign and other Republican litigants have been withdrawn or dismissed since November 3 and hopes now rest on an extraordinary appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking the Supreme Court to instruct legislatures in four states President-elect Joe Biden won to throw out what he calls "tainted" results and select their own slate of presidential electors.

The Republican-controlled legislatures in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would then be free to choose electors who could vote for Trump when the Electoral College meets on December 13.

At least 17 states that voted for Trump have signed a brief supporting the Texas lawsuit, which claims that the four states in question didn't follow election laws correctly in administering the 2020 election. Trump has also filed a motion to intervene in the case.

The U.S. Constitution permits states to decide their own laws on running elections and a variety of legal experts have harshly criticized the Texas lawsuit, with some arguing the Supreme Court won't even hear the case because the state doesn't have standing to sue its sister states in this way.

Steve Vladeck, professor at the University of Texas Law School, called the suit "a new leader in the 'craziest lawsuit filed to purportedly challenge the election' category."

"The Court is *never* going to hear this one," Vladeck tweeted on Tuesday, explaining that Texas needs leave from the court to file, which he believes will not be granted.

"[I]t takes five votes to grant a motion for leave to file — which isn't going to happen," he wrote. "And it'll take some time. So chalk this up as mostly a stunt — a dangerous, offensive, and wasteful one, but a stunt nonetheless."

The Supreme Court recently rejected an effort to overturn the results in Pennsylvania with a one-sentence ruling, in what could be seen as a preview of the Texas case.

Ben Ginsberg, a prominent Republican election lawyer who worked successfully on former President George W. Bush's legal challenge in the wake of the 2000 presidential election, agreed that the court will not hear the case.

"I think there's no basis for it. I don't think the Supreme Court, for an instant, will consider taking up this case," Ginsberg told CNN on Wednesday. "What it shows you, I think... is that how far the Republican party has sort of corroded in basic beliefs under Donald Trump in this area."

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, a prominent figure in the state due in part to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, said on Tuesday that Texas has "has no standing to complain how another state(s) choose their presidential electors."

If the Supreme Court declines to hear the case, the certification of votes in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin will stand and there appears to be little chance of Trump winning the election by further appeals to courts. The Electoral College will then meet on December 13 to cast their votes.

In the unlikely event that the Supreme Court decides to hear the case, there is no guarantee that Texas will prevail in forcing other states to throw out millions of ballots, despite the court's current 6-3 conservative majority.

Donald Trump Speaks About Operation Warp Speed
US President Donald Trump speaks at the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit on December 08, 2020 in Washington, DC. The president signed an executive order stating the US would provide vaccines to Americans before aiding other nations. Trump has suffered a series of legal defeats in his efforts to challenge the election results. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images