So, I didn’t see this coming. The State of Texas has sued Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The filing, first reported by Joel Pollak at Breitbart, is under a procedure where the U.S. Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in suits between states. That means the lawsuit does not need to be filed in District Court, then work its way through the normal appeals process.

The lawsuit is in the form of a Motion for Leave to File Bill of Complaint. (The Brief in support of the Motion appears starting at page 50 of the pdf. A more complete pdf. with all filings, including the Motion for Preliminary Injunction and a Temporary Restraining Order is available here starting at pg. 111)

The relief sought is a delay of the December 14 statutory deadline for electors to vote, arguing that the Supreme Court has the power to delay that deadline since “[t]he only date that is mandated under the Constitution … is January 20, 2021. U.S. CONST. amend. XX.” The purpose of the delay would be for state legislatures to consider appointing the electors given the unreliability in the way the elections were handled.

I’m not sufficiently familiar with this procedure to opine right now on whether it is proper procedurally, but if it works it puts the election squarely in the hands of the Supreme Court. There is no guarantee that if the issue were put to the legislators in these states that they would select Trump electors in the face of certified vote counts showing Biden the winner.

Here is the introduction:

Our Country stands at an important crossroads. Either the Constitution matters and must be followed, even when some officials consider it inconvenient or out of date, or it is simply a piece of parchment on display at the National Archives. We ask the Court to choose the former.

Lawful elections are at the heart of our constitutional democracy. The public, and indeed the candidates themselves, have a compelling interest in ensuring that the selection of a President—any President—is legitimate. If that trust is lost, the American Experiment will founder. A dark cloud hangs over the 2020 Presidential election.

Here is what we know. Using the COVID-19 pandemic as a justification, government officials in the defendant states of Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (collectively, “Defendant States”), usurped their legislatures’ authority and unconstitutionally revised their state’s election statutes. They accomplished these statutory revisions through executive fiat or friendly lawsuits, thereby weakening ballot integrity. Finally, these same government officials flooded the Defendant States with millions of ballots to be sent through the mails, or placed in drop boxes, with little or no chain of custody1 and, at the same time, weakened the strongest security measures protecting the integrity of the vote—signature verification and witness requirements.

Presently, evidence of material illegality in the 2020 general elections held in Defendant States grows daily. And, to be sure, the two presidential candidates who have garnered the most votes have an interest in assuming the duties of the Office of President without a taint of impropriety threatening the perceived legitimacy of their election. However, 3 U.S.C. § 7 requires that presidential electors be appointed on December 14, 2020. That deadline, however, should not cement a potentially illegitimate election result in the middle of this storm—a storm that is of the Defendant States’ own making by virtue of their own unconstitutional actions.

This Court is the only forum that can delay the deadline for the appointment of presidential electors under 3 U.S.C. §§ 5, 7. To safeguard public legitimacy at this unprecedented moment and restore public trust in the presidential election, this Court should
extend the December 14, 2020 deadline for Defendant States’ certification of presidential electors to allow these investigations to be completed. Should one of the two leading candidates receive an absolute majority of the presidential electors’ votes to be cast on December 14, this would finalize the selection of our President. The only date that is mandated under the Constitution, however, is January 20, 2021. U.S. CONST. amend. XX.

Against that background, the State of Texas (“Plaintiff State”) brings this action against Defendant States based on the following allegations: * * *

The Bill of Complaint apparently was filed just before midnight last night. Today we are likely to get a Supreme Court ruling on the lawsuit over Pennsylvania’s vote certification and the claim that the no-excuse mail-in ballot procedure passed by the Pennsylvania legislature was unlawful.

MORE TO FOLLOW

Here is the formal Prayer  for Relief:

PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff States respectfully request that this Court issue the following relief:

A. Declare that Defendant States Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin administered the 2020 presidential election in violation of the Electors Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

B. Declare that any electoral college votes cast by such presidential electors appointed in Defendant States Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin are in violation of the Electors Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and cannot be counted.

C. Enjoin Defendant States’ use of the 2020 election results for the Office of President to appoint presidential electors to the Electoral College.

D. Enjoin Defendant States’ use of the 2020 election results for the Office of President to appoint presidential electors to the Electoral College and authorize, pursuant to the Court’s remedial authority, the Defendant States to conduct a special election to appoint presidential electors.

E. If any of Defendant States have already appointed presidential electors to the Electoral College using the 2020 election results, direct such States’ legislatures, pursuant to 3 U.S.C. § 2 and U.S. CONST. art. II, § 1, cl. 2, to appoint a new set of presidential electors in a manner that does not violate the Electors Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment, or to appoint no presidential electors at all.

F. Enjoin the Defendant States from certifying presidential electors or otherwise meeting for purposes of the electoral college pursuant to 3 U.S.C. § 5, 3 U.S.C. § 7, or applicable law pending further order of this Court.

G. Award costs to Plaintiff State.

H. Grant such other relief as the Court deems just and proper.

UPDATE

The docket reflects that responses are due by Thursday at 3 p.m.

Response to the motion for leave to file a bill of complaint and to the motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order or, alternatively, for stay and administrative stay requested, due Thursday, December 10, by 3 pm.

I’ve seen some people assert that the fact that the case is docketed means the court has decided to “hear” the case. That is not true. A case was filed, so it gets docketed. The court set a deadline for response, just like it did in the Pennsylvania case, but that doesn’t signify the court will hear the merits. The Court will decide the emergency application, but it has not agreed to hear the merits of the case. While the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over disputes between states, it is not mandatory jurisdiction, which is why there is a motion for leave to file the case. Maybe the Court will agree to hear the case (unlikely), but it has not done so yet.

 

 
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