Trump claims it’s ‘the big one’ but Texas election lawsuit looks doomed to failure

Legal experts are calling it a Hail Mary bid, an 11th hour desperate moonshot and one of the dumbest cases they’ve ever seen.

And yet, Donald Trump claims it’s “the big one,” that will deliver him a second term in the White House.

What am I talking about? Mr Trump’s latest legal effort to overturn the election.

He’s requesting permission to intervene as a private citizen in a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas against the states of Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

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The president is asking the Supreme Court to prevent those states from participating in the all-important Electoral College vote on Monday.

And despite many conservative legal aficionados claiming he has no hope of success, Mr Trump and the 17 states he carried are pushing on.

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The Texas lawsuit alleges that election officials in the four states made protocol changes that were contrary to election laws set by the state legislatures, in violation of the Constitution.

Here are a few glaring issues people are pointing to:

  • It calls on the court to delay the electoral vote in the four targeted states to allow investigations of voting issues to continue. But that would be unconstitutional. Article II Section 4 says Congress can choose the day the electors meet to vote and says that day “shall be the same throughout the United States”.
  • Texas has no legal right to claim that officials elsewhere didn’t follow the rules set by their own legislatures. One state doesn’t have the legal right to challenge how another state conducts itself.
  • If one state wants to sue another then it can go to the Supreme Court. But it needs permission first and prove there’s no other way of resolving it.
  • The lawsuit is asking to invalidate roughly 20 million votes. That’s extremely hard to imagine. And it all feels a little back of the envelope.
  • And finally, the suit has a slapdash quality. For example, it says the four states Texas wants to sue have a combined total of 72 electoral votes. Close but no cigar. The total is 62.

This lawsuit may achieve one thing – getting a bit of attention, but the horse has well and truly bolted.

At the very best it might pause the clock but getting the hands to turn the other way is almost unimaginable right now.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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