Though many have recognized and accepted Joe Biden as the official victor of the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump has yet to be convinced that this is indeed the case, and has blamed the outcome on alleged voter fraud in multiple states. He has made many efforts to overturn the election results in the form of dozens of lawsuits and through attempts to invalidate electors and persuade various state leaders to upturn the results in their respective states – though these actions have mostly been in vain. On December 10th however, Trump managed to gain the support of 106 House Republicans who signed an amicus brief backing a new Texas lawsuit (now joined by Arkansas, Utah, Louisiana, Missouri, and South Carolina as well) proposed by Ken Paxton whose purpose is to invalidate the results of the elections in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Overturning the electoral votes in these four states would place Biden below the 270 total electoral votes needed to win the presidency, and clear a path to a Trump victory.
U.S. Representative Mike Johnson played one of the biggest roles in gathering support for the amicus brief. He tweeted: “President Trump called me this morning to let me know how much he appreciates the amicus brief we are filing on behalf of Members of Congress. Indeed, ‘this is the big one!’”. The lawsuit was rooted in the belief that the governors and election officials of the four states overrode the authority of the state legislatures when they used the pandemic as an excuse to utilize widespread absentee ballots, and it is Johnson’s and other House Reps’ hopes that the Supreme Court will grant them permission to file the suit and ultimately get the ballots thrown out.
But despite his campaign’s excitement for their legal request, it’s important to note that it’s highly unlikely for this lawsuit to be filed since there hasn’t been enough solid evidence of fraudulent voter behavior and because the Supreme Court rejected a similar case from Pennsylvania Republicans that also attempted to prevent a Biden victory. Many critics have accused the lawsuit of being insane – having no legal logical basis whatsoever and being without a factual foundation. “It’s absurd and an embarrassment. And for a public official, let alone any lawyer, let alone any member of the Supreme Court Bar, to bring this lawsuit is atrocious,” as George Conway puts it. Nevertheless, it is clear to see from the events surrounding this lawsuit that there is still a substantial number of Republicans willing to support Trump’s desire to overturn the election. However, there is widespread speculation that the reason for this support is due to concerns about getting on Trump’s bad side and winning both Senate seats in the Georgia Runoff Elections in January. If the Republicans are able to win both seats in January, they will maintain control of the Senate. Additionally, some have accused Attorney General Paxton of having ulterior motives in attempting to file the suit as he is facing criminal charges of fraud and may be pursuing a pardon from Trump.