U.S. Senate to hold election integrity hearing next week
After 18 Republican attorneys general filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Texas’ lawsuit against four states over their election procedures, the District of Columbia filed a brief on behalf of 22 Democratic states and territories in support of the defendants.
U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, also filed a brief with the Supreme Court expressing support for Texas, joined by 105 of his colleagues, in what has become an historic election battle brought before the nation’s highest court.
Shortly after Texas sued, President Donald Trump and Republican attorneys general from the states of Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah filed formal motions to intervene on behalf of Texas. No Democratic attorneys general filed motions to intervene.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, announced Thursday that the committee will hold a hearing next week to investigate election irregularities in several battleground states.
Texas sued Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, alleging their state officials violated Constitutional provisions in the way they conducted their state elections, illegally altered election laws, and removed ballot integrity measures, which impacted other states by reportedly impacting the outcome of the election.
Democratic attorneys general from defendant states argue the Electors Clause of the Constitution, which Texas claims they violated, doesn’t allow Texas or any other states to question the decisions made by their state courts and bureaucrats. They argue the election rule changes they enacted were to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Each of the four defendant states filed separate briefs in opposition to Texas’ lawsuit.
“Texas seeks to invalidate elections in four states for yielding results with which it disagrees. Its request for this Court to exercise its original jurisdiction and then anoint Texas’ preferred candidate for President is legally indefensible and is an affront to principles of constitutional democracy,” Pennsylvania’s brief states.
The U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures the sole authority to appoint presidential electors in their states, the Congressional brief reiterates.
“The legislature of every Defendant state had established detailed rules by which that state’s appointment of presidential electors should have been conducted. However, in the months before the 2020 election, those rules were deliberately changed by both state and non-state actors,” it states.
“The clear authority of those state legislatures to determine the rules for appointing electors was usurped at various times by governors, secretaries of state, election officials, state courts, federal courts, and private parties.
“No state constitution, state law, state governor, state election official, or court can alter or constrain that grant of power,” the lawmakers argue.
They urged the court to “provide an objective review of these anomalies and to determine for the people if indeed the Constitution has been followed and the rule of law maintained.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing and plans to call as witnesses attorneys from Wisconsin and Nevada, among others.
“I am mindful that many of the issues that have been raised have been, and will continue to be, appropriately resolved in the courts,” Johnson said. “But the fact remains that a large percentage of the American public does not view the 2020 election result as legitimate because of apparent irregularities that have not been fully examined. That is not a sustainable state of affairs for our country.
“The only way to resolve suspicions is with full transparency and public awareness. That will be the goal of the hearing.”
The Supreme Court is expected to respond to the Texas case before or by Monday, Dec. 14, the day the Electoral College is scheduled to cast votes on behalf of their respective states for the president and vice president.