17 US House Republicans from Arizona, Colorado, and Texas signed on to amicus brief seeking to delay electoral college vote

While the Supreme Court rejected on Friday a lawsuit that would have prevented four states from casting their Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden as scheduled on Monday, seventeen US Representatives between Arizona, Colorado, and Texas were among the more than 126 House Republicans that signed on to an amicus brief supporting the lawsuit.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit on Tuesday. If successful, the lawsuit would have extended the Dec. 14 deadline for the Electoral College electors to cast ballots in four states – Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin – where Biden had been certified the winner.

Seventeen Republican state attorneys general joined with Paxton in the suit and with 126 signees, over half of the House Republican Caucus signed on to the amicus brief.

 

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What the amicus brief argued

The attorneys for amici curiae wrote that in the months before the 2020 election, the rules by which certain states appoint presidential electors were “deliberately changed by both state and non-state actors.” As a result, the brief argued, the authority of those state legislatures to determine the rules for appointing electors was usurped.

In the amicus brief, the plaintiff’s argument was summarized and broken down into five tenets: 

1. The U.S. constitution gives plenary authority to state legislatures to determine the manner of appointing presidential electors.

Based on the constitutional authority given to state legislatures regarding the appointment of presidential electors, the brief argued the following violations occurred.

2. The usurpation of legislative power in Georgia produced unconstitutional ballots.

Georgia’s Republican Attorney General Christopher M. Carr filed a brief which states: “Contrary to Texas’s argument, Georgia has exercised its powers under the Electors Clause. Georgia’s legislature enacted laws governing elections and election disputes, and the State and its officers have implemented and followed those laws.”

3.  The usurpation of legislative power in Pennsylvania produced unconstitutional ballots.

Pennsylvania filed a response to the complaint on Thursday which says Texas’ attempt to “anoint” its preferred presidential candidate is “legally indefensible and is an affront to principles of constitutional democracy.”

4. The usurpation of legislative power in Michigan produced unconstitutional ballots.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Solicitor General Fadwa A. Hammoud, and two Assistant Attorneys General issued a letter in response stating: “Consistent with Michigan law, the State of Michigan has certified its presidential vote and the election in Michigan is over. The challenge here is an unprecedented one, without factual foundation or a valid legal basis.”

5. The usurpation of legislative power in Wisconsin produced unconstitutional ballots.

Officials from Wisconsin called the lawsuit “flat out wrong” and “devoid of a legal foundation and a factual basis.” The brief points that “Texas proposes an extraordinary intrusion into Wisconsin’s and the other defendant States’ elections, a task that the Constitution leaves to each State.”

With the Supreme Court shutting the door on this lawsuit, the Dec. 14 deadline for the Electoral College electors to cast ballots in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin will remain in place.

The members from Arizona, Colorado, and Texas who signed on to the brief are:

Arizona
Rep. Andy Biggs, Fifth Congressional District
Rep. Debbie Lesko, Eighth Congressional District

Colorado
Rep. Ken Buck, Fourth Congressional District
Rep. Doug Lamborn, Fifth Congressional District

Texas
Rep. Jodey Arrington, 19th Congressional District
Rep. Brian Babin, 36th Congressional District
Rep. Kevin Brady, eighth Congressional District
Rep. Michael C. Burgess, 26th Congressional District
Rep. Michael Cloud , 27th Congressional District
Rep. Mike Conaway 11th, Congressional District
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Second Congressional District
Rep. Bill Flores, 17th Congressional District
Rep. Louie Gohmert, first Congressional District
Rep. Lance Gooden , fifth Congressional District
Rep. Kenny Marchant, 24th Congressional District
Rep. Randy Weber, 14th Congressional District