Stefanik signs on in support of Trump lawsuit

Stefanik signs on in support of Trump lawsuit
North country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik speaks on day three of the Republican National Convention. (Source: WWNY)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWNY) - North country congresswoman Elise Stefanik is one of more than a hundred Republican members of congress who have signed on in support of a lawsuit that could overturn the results of November’s presidential election.

The attorney general of the state of Texas is suing four other states - Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Georgia - claiming election irregularities require investigation, and seeking to delay the the certification of presidential electors in the four states.

President-elect Joe Biden won all four of those “battleground states.” An adverse ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, where the lawsuit is being filed, would put him below the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.

The lawsuit is the latest attempt by President Trump and his allies to reverse Biden’s victory. To date, with one exception, the courts - including the Supreme Court - have denied the Trump team’s motions, or those lawsuits have been withdrawn by Trump’s lawyers.

Legal experts have said the Texas lawsuit, brought by an attorney general who is under federal indictment for securities fraud and whose own top aides have accused of bribery, (charges he denies), stands virtually no chance of getting in front of the Supreme Court, let alone succeeding.

“It looks like we have a new leader in the ‘craziest lawsuit filed to purportedly challenge the election’ category,” Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, wrote on Twitter, the New York Times reported.

A ruling on whether the Texas lawsuit can even go forward could come Friday from the Supreme Court, though that is not guaranteed.

“The election of 2020 has been riddled with an unprecedented number of serious allegations of fraud and irregularities. National polls indicate a large percentage of Americans now have serious doubts about not just the outcome of the presidential contest, but also the future reliability of our election system itself,” the document Stefanik endorsed reads.

In a statement Thursday night, Stefanik said Americans “are rightfully concerned about both the unconstitutional overreach from certain state officials and the integrity of the Presidential election.”

Here’s her full statement:

“The amicus brief that was signed by over 100 House Republican Members today is about protecting our Constitution. The Constitution is clear; Election Officials and State Executives cannot change the people’s presidential election process without the state legislature approving it. Additionally, it is unconstitutional to refuse to check signatures on mail-in ballots if the state law explicitly states that they must be checked. We are requesting that the Supreme Court carefully review the lawsuit and provide clarity to the American People, who are rightfully concerned about both the unconstitutional overreach from certain state officials and the integrity of the Presidential election.”
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik

Nationally, none of the allegations of widespread abuse or fraud have proven to be true.

Despite the fact that the lawsuit is highly unlikely to get a hearing, the fact that President Trump is able to get more than a hundred elected Republicans to sign on in support of it - and earlier, Republican attorneys general from 17 states also backed the president - is a sign of how much power President Trump continues to wield among Republican office-holders.

Not all Republicans are siding with President Trump, however; Texas senator John Cornyn told CNN “why would a state -- even such a great state as Texas -- have a say-so on how other states administer their elections?”

Stefanik, who initially predicted in 2015 that Trump would not be the party’s nominee, has become one of his most visible and ardent advocates over the last two years. In November, she won an overwhelming election victory against a well-funded Democratic opponent.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that a few Republicans spoke out against the effort to back the lawsuit.

“Among them was Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.), who said on Twitter that the case “represents a dangerous violation of federalism” and “sets a precedent to have one state asking federal courts to police the voting procedures of other states.”

“I cannot support an effort that will almost certainly fail on grounds of standing and is inconsistent with my beliefs about protecting Texas sovereignty from the meddling of other states,” Roy said, the newspaper reported.

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