Texas sues Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin over changes to 2020 election laws

AG Ken Paxton files lawsuit in federal court over ‘unconstitutional changes’

Attorney General Ken Paxton
Attorney General Ken Paxton

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday against four battleground states that President-elect Joe Biden won for what he claims are unconstitutional changes to 2020 election laws.

The Republican claims Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin “exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the results of the 2020 General Election.”

Paxton is alleging the states violated the Constitution and is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the states from voting in the electoral college, according to the Texas Tribune.

Stephen Vladeck, the Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts at the University of Texas School of Law, called the filing “insane” and wrote that “The (Supreme) Court is *never* going to hear this one.”

Vladeck and others noted that Texas Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins, who represents the state in front of SCOTUS, is not listed on the filing.

According to Paxton, the four states “have not only tainted the integrity of their own citizens’ vote, but of Texas and every other state that held lawful elections.”

The suit claims that the four states violated the Electors Clause of the Constitution and that voting irregularities in those states are consistent with the “unconstitutional relaxation of ballot-integrity protections in those States’ election laws.”

The Texas Tribune notes that the claims of voter fraud Paxton is alleging have been rejected by federal judges, voting experts and election officials in each state.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel called the suit a publicity stunt and said “Mr. Paxton’s actions are beneath the dignity of the office of Attorney General and the people of the great state of Texas,” the Tribune reported.

“Their failure to abide by the rule of law casts a dark shadow of doubt over the outcome of the entire election. We now ask that the Supreme Court step in to correct this egregious error,” Paxton said.

The filing also claims that, whether lawful or unlawful, there were intrastate differences in the treatment of voters.

According to the lawsuit, more favorable conditions for voting were allotted to voters in areas “administered by local government under Democrat control and with populations with higher ratios of Democrat voters than other areas of Defendant States.”

The press release from Paxton’s office says “only state legislatures may set the rules governing the appointment of electors and elections and cannot be delegated to local officials. The majority of the rushed decisions, made by local officials, were not approved by the state legislatures, thereby circumventing the Constitution.”

Paxton has seen a wave of exits from his office this year after several of his top aides publicly accused him of abuse of power and resigned. Paxton has been under indictment and fighting federal securities charges for five years.

Read the full lawsuit below:

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.