Republicans Rally Around Texas Election Lawsuit as AGs Rail Against 'Circus'

A number of Republicans are rallying around Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's lawsuit seeking to have the U.S. Supreme Court invalidate election results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin as the attorneys general in the four battleground states railed against the longshot effort to overturn President Donald Trump's loss.

Paxton, a Republican, has asked the court to allow a motion challenging the results in the four swing states by allowing each state's lawmakers to decide their electors, rather than the voters. The lawsuit is the latest effort to reverse Trump's defeat in the battleground states that President-elect Joe Biden has already won.

The Attorney Generals of the four states immediately condemned Paxton, a close ally of Trump who is currently facing allegations of bribery and abuse of his office.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, called Paxton's efforts a "publicity stunt, not a serious legal pleading."

"The erosion of confidence in our democratic system isn't attributable to the good people of Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia or Pennsylvania but rather to partisan officials, like Mr. Paxton, who place loyalty to a person over loyalty to their country," she said.

Ken Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate four battleground states' election results. Gabriella Demczuk/Getty

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, called the "beyond meritless, beyond reckless" lawsuit part of "continued attacks on our fair and free election system."

"This has become a circus," he added. "It is a scheme by the sitting president & his enablers to disregard the will of the people."

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, said he felt "sorry for Texans that their tax dollars are being wasted on such a genuinely embarrassing lawsuit" and vowed to defend against the "attack on our democracy."

A representative for Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, a Republican, denounced Paxton for being "constitutionally, legally and factually wrong about Georgia." The state's deputy Secretary of State also called the lawsuit "false and irresponsible."

However, a number of Republicans have indicated support for the suit, including some in the states that were sued by Paxton.

Nearly half—16 out of 34—of Georgia's GOP state senators backed the lawsuit. "We applaud the State of Texas for recognizing that the failure of the State of Georgia to follow its own election laws has violated the Equal Protection Act of the U.S. Constitution," the group said in a statement. "This systemic failure to follow the law has allowed misconduct, fraud, and irregularities throughout the voting process of this state."

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott praised the suit, tweeting "God Bless Texas." He told a reporter that the case "tries to accelerate the process, providing certainty and clarity about the entire election process. The United States of America needs that."

Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Kelly wants the election results to be declared illegal over the state's expansion of mail-in voting, which was passed over a year ago. The state's Supreme Court has already tossed out his challenge.

Trump praised Texas for having "COURAGE AND BRILLIANCE!" and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the case was "HUGE."

Legal experts, however, have sided with the attorneys general, with some calling the lawsuit "insane," "utter garbage," "outrageous," and "a press release masquerading as a lawsuit."

Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have yet to comment, and many Republicans have already broken with Trump's efforts to overturn the election, with some having urged the president to concede.

Most outlets called the election for Biden a month ago. The Democrat has secured 306 Electoral College votes, surpassing the 270 needed to win the presidency, but Trump, with 232 votes, has refused to concede. His campaign has filed nearly 50 lawsuits in swing states alleging widespread voter fraud and seeking to overturn the election in his favor. But they have been largely unsuccessful and routinely tossed out of court over insufficient evidence.

Newsweek reached out to Paxton for comment.