House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy signed onto Texas' long-shot lawsuit seeking to overturn the 2020 election results in 4 battleground states

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Friday added his name to an amicus brief that backs a long-shot lawsuit initiated in Texas to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's victory in four key states.
  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, accusing them of making changing their election procedures without state legislative approval in violation of Article II of the US Constitution. 
  • As of Friday, a total of 126 House Republicans have thrown their Texas support behind the case, which is asking the Supreme Court to throw out millions of votes in the four key battleground states that Biden won.
  • President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly urged the Supreme Court to overturn the election results, also joined the case.
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House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, of California, on Friday signed his name onto an amicus brief alongside 125 other House Republicans who support a lawsuit docketed in the Supreme Court that aims to overturn the election results in four states. 

The long-shot lawsuit argues that President-elect Joe Biden won four swing states — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — illegally and unconstitutionally. These states changed their election procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic without first getting approval from their legislatures, which they contend violates Article II of the US Constitution. 

Article II gives state legislatures the right to determine "the time, manner, and place" of selecting presidential electors. 

The lawsuit, which was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton earlier this week, is known as an "original jurisdiction" case: Any time a state directly sues another state, the case goes to the Supreme Court. The high court, however, does not have to agree to hear the case. 

Paxton is essentially asking the Supreme Court to invalidate the presidential election results in those four states and allow their state legislatures, all controlled by Republicans, to directly appoint the electors to the Electoral College. This would nullify the voters' choice. 

Notably, the lawsuit does not single out any of the states that President Donald Trump won that made similar changes to their election procedures — also in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus — without the legislature. 

For instance, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott unilaterally moved to expand early voting dates for the 2020 election without the involvement of the state legislature, as did some of the other 17 states whose attorneys general have filed to join Lone Star State in the lawsuit. Trump, who has repeatedly urged the Supreme Court to overturn the election results, also joined the case.

On Thursday, McCarthy was asked during a CNBC interview whether he acknowledged Biden's victory. 

He dodged a straight answer, saying, "Look, the electors have to go through and put forth that. The president, he has to make sure that every legal vote is counted, every recount is done, and make sure every complaint [is being] heard inside court. Once that's done, I think the election will be over and the electors will make their decision."

Multiple Texas Republicans, including Sen. John Cornyn and Reps. Chip Roy and Kay Granger, have expressed skepticism about the lawsuit. 

"I read just the summary of it, and I frankly struggle to understand the legal theory of it," Cornyn told CNN.

Roy tweeted that "the case itself represents a dangerous violation…of federalism & sets a precedent to have one state asking federal courts to police the voting procedures of other states." 

Legal experts have pointed out a number of potential problems with the Texas lawsuit that makes it unlikely to succeed. Those issues include Texas' dubious standing to bring the case in the first place; the fact that many of the legal issues raised by the lawsuit have already been litigated in lower courts; and Texas officials waiting until a month after Election Day to sue states over months-old election changes. 

All states have now certified their election results. Presidential electors are set to convene on December 14 in all 50 states and Washington, DC, to cast their votes. 

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