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December 10, 2020


Raoul, Coalition Argue Texas Lawsuit Lacks Legal Support and Offers Zero Evidence of Systemic Voter Fraud

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 23 attorneys general, today urged the Supreme Court to reject Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit asking that the court overturn the 2020 election results in four states.

In an amicus brief filed in Texas v. Pennsylvania, Raoul and the coalition argue that Texas’ unprecedented lawsuit depends on a misreading of the Constitution’s Electors Clause. Texas’ unsupported theory clashes with a century of precedent, denies states the authority to make their own decisions about election administration and oversight, and threatens to upend basic notions of federalism and states’ rights. Further, the lawsuit depends on specious claims of voter fraud, without offering any evidence of systemic fraud in the November election. Raoul and the coalition are asking the court to throw out Texas’ lawsuit.

“It is concerning and dangerous that the president and his allies have spent the weeks following the election seeking to undermine its results, as elections are at the very core of our democracy. Further, it is unconscionable that a state attorney general would use his authority to file a frivolous, unfounded lawsuit aimed at overturning an election,” Raoul said. “The people of the states in question have spoken decisively, and I stand with my colleagues to defend their right to be heard.”

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history.” President-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Subsequent recounts in Wisconsin and Georgia confirmed the results, and election officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have now certified their results.

While the president’s campaign has continued to make allegations of electoral tampering, neither the campaign nor its supporters have produced any evidence of substantial voter fraud or other forms of wrongdoing. The president and his allies have filed 55 election-related suits since November 3, and federal and state judges have rejected their claims in all but one minor case.

Despite this, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, 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. The plaintiffs are asking the Supreme Court to take the unprecedented step of intervening and invalidating the will of the voters in those four states. Tellingly, the lawsuit makes no mention of other states – including Texas and several other states that supported Texas’s lawsuit – that made similar changes to election processes to guarantee residents could access ballots while staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Raoul and the coalition filed an amicus brief today in vigorous opposition to Texas’ undemocratic effort to overturn the results of the election. Specifically, the states urge the Supreme Court to deny Texas’ lawsuit on the grounds that:

  • Texas’ 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 Constitution grants this authority to “state legislatures,” since the early 20th century, the Supreme Court has allowed legislatures to delegate authority to elections administrators or other state government entities.

  • States have a constitutional right to determine the process for administering their own elections: Federalism is a core component of the Constitution, governing the division of power between the states and the federal government. The Constitution makes clear, and the Supreme Court has affirmed, that the framers granted states the right to administer and oversee presidential elections on their own. Yet Texas’ lawsuit – calling on the Supreme Court to intervene in the elections held by the four defendant states – would infringe on that right, and thus, states’ sovereignty. Further, it would set its own destructive precedent limiting states’ ability to make critical changes to the structure and oversight of elections.

  • There is no evidence that the states’ commonsense measures to protect the voting rights and health of residents produced significant voter fraud: Since 2000, more than 250 million people in all 50 states have voted using mail-in ballots. In 2018 alone, more than 31 million Americans – or approximately 25.8 percent of voters – cast their ballots by mail. Moreover, five states – Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington – had all-mail voting systems prior to the 2020 election, through which every registered voter receives a ballot in the mail. Despite the prevalence of voting by mail, officials at the state and federal levels have consistently found no evidence of widespread fraud. This remained true for the 2020 election. Despite the president’s claims that the results were tainted by voting fraud, his lawyers and other allies have consistently failed to produce any evidence to substantiate these assertions. Indeed, Republican and Democratic officials overseeing the elections in all four defendant states have repeatedly confirmed that processes were safe and secure.

Joining Raoul in filing the amicus brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington.


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