'The big one': Trump intervenes in Texas case at Supreme Court

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks Tuesday, May 5, 2020, at Honeywell International Inc. in Phoenix. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

The Texas case asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block the Electoral College votes of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin is the “big one” his team has been waiting for, President Trump said Wednesday.

“We will be INTERVENING in the Texas (plus many other states) case,” he wrote on Twitter. “This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the case late Monday night alleging that unconstitutional changes made to election rules before the vote invalidates the 62 Electoral College votes from the four battleground states.

Associate Justice Samuel Alito has given the states until 3 p.m. on Thursday to file their replies to the complaint.

Missouri filed a friend-of-the-court brief Wednesday afternoon that was joined by Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, said on Twitter that election integrity “is central to our republic,” and he will “defend it at every turn.”

“As I have in other cases – I will help lead the effort in support of Texas’ #SCOTUS filing today. Missouri is in the fight,” he wrote.

An opponent of the suit, Georgia Republican Attorney General Chris Carr, a Republican, called it fundamentally “wrong.”

“With all due respect, the Texas attorney general is constitutionally, legally and factually wrong about Georgia,” a spokesman for Carr told the Dallas Morning News.

Paxton, in a “Fox & Friends” interview Wednesday morning, said the elections in other states where state law was not followed “affects my voters because these are national elections.”

“We can’t go back and fix it, but we can say, OK, let’s transfer this to the legislature … and let them to decide the outcome of the election,” he said. “That would be a valid constitutional situation.”

The two Republican candidates in the crucial Jan. 5 runoffs in Georgia that will decide the U.S. Senate majority issued a joint statement declaring support for Trump’s legal challenges and the Texas lawsuit.

“The president has every right to use every legal recourse available to guarantee these simple principles: every lawful vote cast should be counted, any illegal vote submitted cannot be counted, and there must be full transparency and uniformity in the counting process,” the incumbent senators said. “This isn’t hard and it isn’t partisan. It’s American. No one should ever have to question the integrity of our elections system and the credibility of its outcomes.”

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request to block certification of Pennsylvania’s election results in a case filed by a Pennsylvania congressman challenging a 2019 law to expand mail-in voting. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., says he plans to file a petition asking the court to hear the case on its merits.

‘My gut is they are going to take it’

John Eastman, a constitutional scholar at the Claremont Institute who formerly served as a Supreme Court clerk, said Tuesday night he believes the Supreme Court will take the Texas case on the merits.

He explained in an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that in cases between two states, the Supreme Court has “original and exclusive jurisdiction” to settle disputes.

“The underlying issue there is a terrific one for the Supreme Court, because it doesn’t turn on proof of the allegations of fraud, the Dominion machines and all these other things that are huge evidentiary matters,” he said.

Eastman said the case “turns on a very simple legal question: Did these states conduct an election in violation of their state law?”

He explained that Article II of the U.S. Constitution says the state legislatures have the sole authority to create the manner for choosing presidential electors.

The Pennsylvania secretary of state, for example, ignored state statutes and sent out absentee ballots without voter ID or signature checking.

“Those violations of statutes that were designed to prevent fraud are enough to trigger the federal constitutional violation that Texas has alleged,” he said.

Ingraham asked Eastman his “gut” sense of whether or not the Supreme Court will take the case.

“My gut is they are going to take it and look at it on the merits,” he said. “This is an extremely important legal issue.”

He noted that twice in history the Supreme Court has ruled that not following election laws violates the U.S. Constitution, citing Bush v. Gore in 2000 and McPherson v. Blacker, regarding the 1892 election between Benjamin Harrison and Grover Cleveland.

‘This is the end all, be all case’

The Texas case is the kind of “outcome-determinative case” the Trump campaign has been looking for, said campaign attorney Jordan Sekulow.

“The 62 electoral college votes at stake is enough to change the outcome of the election,” he said in a Newsmax TV interview Tuesday night with Grant Stinchfield.

He said the case seeks to allow the legislatures in the four states, which are controlled by Republicans, to “seat new electors because the elections violated the electors clause due process and equal protection.”

If the election went to the House of Representatives, where each state would have one vote, he noted, Republicans would choose the next president, because they control state delegations 27 to 22.

“This is the major challenge, the one we were waiting for,” Sekulow said. “It has enough electoral votes at stake to change the outcome. The court is deciding that it wants more briefing and it is great news.

“This is the end all, be all case,” he said.

Statistically impossible Biden victory

One of the briefs filed in the Texas case is the testimony of University of Southern California economics professor Charles J. Cicchetti.

In his analysis of the vote in the four states, he concluded the probability of Joe Biden winning all four states after President Trump’s early morning lead is statistically impossible.

The actual probability, he said, is less than one in a quadrillion to the fourth power.

That’s one followed by 60 zeroes.

Cicchetti formerly served as deputy director of the Energy and Environmental Policy Center at Harvard University’s John Kennedy School of Government.

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