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Attorney General Donovan Opposes Texas’ Attempt to Invalidate Election Results in Four States

December 10, 2020

Coalition argues that Texas’ lawsuit lacks legal support and offers no evidence of systemic voter fraud in GA, MI, PA, and WI

Contact: Charity R. Clark, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171

MONTPELIER – Attorney General T. J. Donovan today joined a coalition in urging the Supreme Court to reject the Texas Attorney General’s request that the Court overturn election results in four states critical to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. In an amicus brief, filed in Texas v. Pennsylvania, the coalition of 23 attorneys general argues that Texas’s unprecedented lawsuit depends on a misreading of the Constitution’s Electors Clause—one that clashes with a century of precedent, denies states’ power to make their own decisions about election administration and oversight, and threatens to upend the basic notions of federalism and states’ rights. Further, the coalition argues that the lawsuit depends on unfounded claims of voter fraud, offering no evidence whatsoever of systemic fraud in the November election. The coalition is asking the court to throw out Texas’s suit against the four states.

“This frivolous lawsuit only erodes public confidence in our electoral system,” said Attorney General Donovan. “I’m proud to oppose it.”

Election officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have now certified their election results. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history.” President-elect Biden carried the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by decisive margins. Both Wisconsin and Georgia underwent recounts to confirm the results. Wisconsin’s recount revealed President-elect Biden won by a slightly larger margin of victory than in the initial count. All three recounts in Georgia have reaffirmed President-elect Biden’s edge.

Despite this, the Texas Attorney General, supported by 17 Republican attorneys general, filed a lawsuit against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in the Supreme Court. The lawsuit alleges that the States unlawfully enacted changes to their election laws under the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic. It asks the Supreme Court to make an unprecedented intervention and invalidate the will of the voters in those four states. Tellingly, it says nothing of other states—including Texas and several other states that supported Texas’s lawsuit—that made similar changes to their election process to guarantee access to the ballot while keeping residents safe during this public health emergency.

The amicus brief filed today in vigorous opposition to Texas’s undemocratic effort to overturn the results of the election specifically urges the Supreme Court to deny Texas’s lawsuit because:

  • Texas’s interpretation of the Electors Clause is contrary to a century’s worth of precedent: The Electors Clause of the Constitution grants the states the power to set their own rules for presidential elections held within their own states. While the text of the Constitution says this authority is given to “state legislatures,” since the early 20th century, the Supreme Court has allowed the legislatures to delegate this authority to elections administrators or other state government entities.
  • States have a constitutional right to determine the process for administering their own elections.
  • There is no evidence that the states’ common-sense measures to protect the vote and the health of residents produced significant voter fraud.

Attorney General Donovan is joined in filing today’s brief by attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington.

A copy of the brief is available here.