Despite their oath to uphold the Constitution, these Republican lawmakers are hoping to disenfranchise tens of millions of citizens.
More than 100 House Republicans have endorsed a Texas lawsuit aimed at throwing out the votes in states carried by President-elect Joe Biden. This came despite their oath to protect and defend the Constitution, which established the framework for state administration of presidential elections.
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) announced this week that he will file an amicus brief on behalf of his GOP colleagues "who are deeply concerned about the integrity of our election system," in support of the quixotic lawsuit. According to CNN, he sent a personal email to every other House Republican urging them to sign on.
The suit, filed on Monday by Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, seeks to overturn the results from the 2020 presidential elections in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — four of the five states won by Donald Trump in 2016 but by Biden in 2020.
It asks that the Supreme Court force those states to hold new elections. His filing does not actually allege any actual specific fraud, but generally complains that different states conduct elections differently.
Trump and 17 Republican state attorneys general from states carried by him have endorsed the lawsuit, though legal experts say the case is unlikely to go anywhere. Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, James Lankford of Oklahoma, and Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue of Georgia have also publicly expressed support for the Texas suit.
On Thursday, Johnson released the names of 105 colleagues signing onto his amicus brief. The list includes House Minority Whip Steve Scalise as well as most of the Republican caucus.
Notably, several of the signatories endorsed throwing out the votes from their own states. Reps. Rick Allen, Buddy Carter, Drew Ferguson, and Austin Scott of Georgia; Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, John Moolenaar, and Tim Walberg of Michigan; John Joyce, Fred Keller, Mike Kelly, Scott Perry, Glenn Thompson, and Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania; and Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin each backed disenfranchising their own constituents.
But not all Republicans are backing the effort. In a series of tweets on Thursday, Rep. Chip Roy of Texas denounced it as a "dangerous violation of federalism" that "sets a precedent to have one state asking federal courts to police the voting procedures of other states." Article II of the Constitution mandates that "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress."
Even Texas Sen. John Cornyn said he did not grasp the "legal theory" behind Paxton's case and was "unconvinced."
"Number one, why would a state, even such a great state as Texas, have a say-so on how other states administer their elections?" he told CNN on Wednesday. "We have a diffused and dispersed system, and even though we might not like it, they may think it's unfair, those [election policies] are decided at the state and local level and not at the national level."
Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska — one of the states supporting the Texas lawsuit — said the Supreme Court is unlikely to rule in Texas' favor and that "it looks like a fella begging for a pardon filed a PR stunt rather than a lawsuit." Paxton is currently under indictment and also under federal investigation for another matter.
In a response filing on Thursday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro called the case a "seditious abuse of the judicial process" based on a "surreal alternate reality."
Top Republican leaders in House and Senate did not immediately respond to inquiries for this story about whether they support the case.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.