Paxton on Tuesday brought a lawsuit to the Supreme Court against battleground states Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan — states that Trump lost to President-elect Joe Biden, that would invalidate ballots cast by millions of voters. Trump also asked the court to intervene in Paxton’s lawsuit that is backed by 17 Republican-led states.
But this is not the first time the Republican and longtime defender of the President’s policies has taken up legal arms for Trump.
His latest legal challenge is not only a last-minute attempt to rescue Trump’s flailing chances at a second term in office, but it also comes as he faces accusations of crimes. This is also not the first time he has led a legal effort to the Supreme Court involving other states.
Top Texas officer and criminal allegations
Paxton served in the Texas statehouse for a decade and then state senate for less than two years before he launched his bid for Texas Attorney General in 2014 when now-Gov. Greg Abbott decided to run to succeed Rick Perry.
During his campaign, Paxton admitted to violating state securities law by soliciting investment clients for the firm of his friend and campaign donor. Though he was referring clients to his associate, he did not register with the state of Texas and later paid a $1,000 fine.
A longshot case before the Supreme Court
Paxton, the President and the Republican states backing the lawsuit are asking the court to block the electors from Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania that would push Biden under the required 270-vote total to win. It includes several claims that have been rejected by state and federal courts regarding the legality of mail-in ballots and alleged voter fraud.
“Using the Covid-19 pandemic as a justification,” he wrote in the lawsuit, officials in the battleground states “usurped their legislatures’ authority and unconstitutionally revised their state’s election statutes.” Paxton said they had done so through “executive fiat” and pointed to mail-in ballots that he said were placed “in drop boxes” with “little or no chain of custody.”
“I can’t imagine something that is less faithful to the principle of states’ rights than a Texas attorney general trying to tell other states how to run their elections,” Ginsberg said.
The Supreme Court also denied Pennsylvania Republicans’ request to block certification of the commonwealth’s elections results and other legal challenges by Trump campaign have largely failed.
Taking on the ACA and defending freedom of religion
CNN’s Kate Sullivan, Ariane de Vogue and Dan Berman contributed to this report.