US top court refuses to take up latest Trump election challenge

Supreme Court decision on Texas suit deals blow to Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory.

US President Donald Trump has sought to overturn Joe Biden's election victory, repeatedly casting doubt on the electoral process [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

The United States Supreme Court has rejected a long-shot lawsuit filed by Texas and backed by President Donald Trump to challenge the presidential election results, effectively dealing Trump another blow in multiple failed attempts to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.

In its decision on Friday, the Supreme Court said it denied Texas’s motion for leave to file a complaint about vote tallies in Pennsylvania and three other US states “for lack of standing” under the US Constitution.

“Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections,” the court stated.

Trump repeatedly has sought to overturn the results of the November 3 election.

Biden, his Democratic challenger, was declared the winner after securing enough Electoral College votes to win the White House – and he has begun announcing government department nominees and shaping his incoming administration’s policies.


But Trump continues to cast doubt on the US voting process, lobbing false claims of widespread voter fraud and trying to overturn the results in court. Most of those legal challenges have been thrown out.

‘Seditious abuse’

Texas had sought to challenge the results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin directly with the Supreme Court. Biden won all four states this year, but Trump had won them in the 2016 election.

Two of the court’s conservatives, Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas, said they would have allowed Texas to sue but would not have blocked the four states from finalising their election results.

The case was filed on December 8 by the Republican attorney general of Texas, a Trump ally. Trump filed a motion to intervene and become a plaintiff the next day.

The four states, in a filing with the court on December 10, asked the justices to reject the lawsuit, which they said had no factual or legal grounds, a widely held view among constitutional scholars.

“Our nation’s highest court saw through this seditious abuse of our electoral process,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, said on Twitter.

Dozens of lawsuits

Earlier on Friday before the court ruling was handed down, Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe said on Twitter that the Texas lawsuit was “garbage” and a “coup dressed up as a lawsuit”.

Tribe later called the Supreme Court’s decision “a triumph for the Constitution, the rule of law, democracy and the system of checks and balances!”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, meanwhile, issued a statement saying the court’s rejection of his case was “unfortunate” and that he would continue to “defend the integrity and security of our elections”.

The chairman of the Texas Republican Party, Allen West, also suggested on Friday evening that a “Union of states that will abide by the Constitution” be formed.

West said the Supreme Court’s order had established “a precedent that says states can violate the U.S. Constitution and not be held accountable”.

Trump’s campaign and his allies already had lost as many as 57 lawsuits seeking to challenge the election results in state and federal courts, according to a tally by Marc Elias, an election lawyer who has been directing the Democratic Party’s response to Trump’s litigation.

State election officials have said they have found no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and lawyers for Trump and his allies have failed to present evidence in court of the type of fraud he has alleged took place.

President-elect Joe Biden has won 306 Electoral College votes, surpassing the threshold needed to win the White House [File: Andrew Harnik/AP]

The president did not immediately react on Twitter to the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Texas complaint.

Results of the US presidential election are due to be finalised on December 14 when the Electoral College meets. Biden won 306 Electoral College votes compared with Trump’s 232.

Biden also won the popular vote, securing 81 million votes to Trump’s 74 million.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies