* Republican Illinois US Reps. Mike Bost and Darin LaHood signed on to an amicus brief with about half the Republican members of Congress in support of the Texas attorney general’s attempt to overturn the presidential election results in four states. This afternoon, Attorney General Kwame Raoul signed on to a much different amicus brief, and here’s his press release…
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.
* From Raoul’s spokesperson, when asked about Bost and LaHood…
It’s clear the president is asking both state attorneys general and congressmen to take this action, and it is unfortunate.
I’ll be more than happy to post any statement from Bost, LaHood, the Illinois Republican Party or the two GOP legislative leaders in response.
*** UPDATE 1 *** I have yet to hear back from the ILGOP or the two legislative leaders (surprise!), but Congressman LaHood gave a brief statement to Crain’s…
In a statement, LaHood said, “The cornerstone of our democracy is our electoral system and any irregularities presented should be investigated. I support President Trump’s right to make his case and I believe that the Supreme Court is the final venue to examine any election irregularities in full.” He said he believes Illinois’ election results were “accurate and fair.”
“President Trump is using the legal means available to him to ensure that every legal vote is counted,” Bost said in a statement Tuesday, prior signing on to the amicus brief. “At a time of great uncertainty for our country, it is vitally important that the American people have faith in our elections and trust the results.”
Bost followed up after signing the brief with a statement Friday saying the lawsuit represents an effort “to ensure that the American people can have faith in our elections and trust the results.” The Supreme Court, he added, is the “final arbiter in cases of election irregularities.”
* Illinois Democratic County Chairs Association President Kristina Zahorik…
“Darin LaHood and Mike Bost apparently do not believe that the votes and the will of the people matter this election. By signing their name to a legal argument that ignores the rights of a state to determine how to manage their own elections, they are not only showing their hypocrisy when it comes to states’ rights, they are also attempting to undermine votes legally cast by citizens of this country.”
“The IDCCA salutes Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul for standing up for the rights of Americans to vote safely and securely. Shame on Bost and LaHood for tarnishing Illinois’ reputation and for this baseless attack on our democracy.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** The governor was asked about this today…
There are I think more than 100 Congressional Republicans who signed on to that. I am surprised. In the Land of Lincoln, I think of Republicans, Democrats as being a lot more reasonable than the people who have followed Donald Trump down every rabbit hole.
And so I just would say it’s irresponsible.
And it’s a ridiculous lawsuit. I don’t know why they would sign on except for apparently undying commitment and loyalty to a failed president.
*** UPDATE 3 *** Press release…
Rep. Brad Halbrook sends letter to Attorney General Kwame Raoul urging him to join Texas election lawsuit
Reps. Chris Miller; Blaine Wilhour; Darren Bailey; Andrew Chesney; John Cabello and State Reps. Elect Adam Niemberg and Paul Jacobs join Rep. Halbrook in calling for Illinois to join Texas lawsuit
State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) has sent Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul urging him to join Texas and 18 other states that have filed a lawsuit against four states that have failed to follow the US Constitution with changes in election law that were implemented without legislative approval.
“The Constitution makes it clear that it is the sole responsibility of state legislatures to make the rules for presidential elections, but yet in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia there were changes in the rules that occurred without legislative action that affected the outcome of the election,” Halbrook said. “The failure of these states to follow the Constitution diluted the votes of millions of people living in states that did follow the Constitution. It is important to make sure that we can trust the outcome of this and future elections. We cannot and should not tolerate an unequal application of our laws. It is imperative that we have free and fair elections. This is why it is important for Illinois to join this lawsuit.”
The letter asks Attorney General Kwame Raoul to join Texas and 18 other states in the STATE OF TEXAS, Plaintiff, v. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE OF GEORGIA, STATE OF MICHIGAN, AND STATE OF WISCONSIN lawsuit. Joining Rep. Halbrook in signing the letter were: State Reps. Chris Miller (R-Oakland); Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City); John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) and Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) State Rep. Elect Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich) and State Rep. Elect Paul Jacobs (R-Pomona).
“We are hearing everyday from constituents who are upset with what is going on in the swing states of Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania,” Miller said. “They have no confidence in the results of this election. What is happening goes well beyond the President. This is about the integrity of future elections. We need to make sure the American people can trust the outcome of our elections. The future of our Republic depends on it.”
Mary Miller, Congresswoman-elect (IL-15), joins the Texas Attorney General and 18 other State Attorney Generals, several elected officials in the states under question, and numerous elected leaders supporting the Texas lawsuit. She released the following statement.
“I support this lawsuit and President Trump’s efforts to ensure the integrity of our election process. The American people deserve an honest and fair election process where all legal ballots are counted, and illegal votes are removed. This is the only way we can all move forward together in confidence,” stated Conservative Mary Miller.
“Sunshine patriots and fair-weather fighters won’t win this fight or stop the radical left’s attempts to push their socialist agenda. President Trump endorsed my campaign because he needed more actual allies in Washington. I will continue to fight the establishment in both parties that wants to defeat President Trump,” Miller added.
Miller continued: “I was elected to promote Illinois agriculture and economic opportunities, to uphold the rule of law, to defend our values of faith, family, and freedom, and to support President Trump.”
Mary concluded: “We have too many politicians who talk the talk to get elected, but when it comes time to uphold it and fight, they’re nowhere to be found. I’m going to Congress to fight for the things I campaigned on and, more importantly, the people in my district. The fight has begun.”
*** UPDATE 4 *** Over…