Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the elections in four swing states. The complaint names the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the states of Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin as having ignored "both state and federal law."
The lawsuit accuses the states of using the pandemic as an excuse to ignore and violate election laws. Election laws can only be changed in those states through amendment to their constitutions by the legislatures. In each state, the secretaries of state or, in the case of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Election Commission and other state officials, circumvented the state legislatures and abrogated state statutes—instituting illegal, rushed changes in election procedures because of the pandemic. Twitter user Roscoe B Davis does a great job of simplifying the case here.
Paxton's press release indicates the primary reason for the complaint:
"The states violated statutes enacted by their duly elected legislatures, thereby violating the Constitution. By ignoring both state and federal law, these states have not only tainted the integrity of their own citizens’ vote, but of Texas and every other state that held lawful elections. Their failure to abide by the rule of law casts a dark shadow of doubt over the outcome of the entire election. We now ask that the Supreme Court step in to correct this egregious error.”
Paxton also says that "the battleground states flooded their people" with mail-in ballots, and violated laws as to how they were "received, evaluated and counted." The lawsuit also says that, in many cases, the states violated equal protection laws in their denial of meaningful access to Republicans during the tabulation process. The lawsuit goes through each of the "defendant states" one by one, summarizing the violations of state statutes, unequal protections of voters, and the many ballot irregularities that resulted from the mass mailings of ballots—an election first. "Taken together, these flaws affect an outcome determinative numbers of popular votes in a group of States that cast outcome-determinative numbers of electoral votes."
The State of Texas lawsuit moves for expedient consideration of the case by the Supreme Court. It also refers to the various dates in the timeline for appointing electors and asserts that "absent some form of relief, the defendants will appoint electors based on unconstitutional and deeply uncertain election results and the House will count those votes on January 6, tainting the election and the future of free elections." The Jan. 20 date is, in fact, the only date mentioned in the Constitution of the United States.
The suit seeks to decertify the votes of the electors because the appointments violated both the electors' clause and the Fourteenth Amendment. It should be noted that the lawsuit does not ask the Court to "decide who won the election" but rather it asks the court to "enjoin the clear violations of the Electors Clause of the Constitution" and requests that the court remand to the state legislatures the allocation of Electors in "a manner consistent with the Constitution." The suit also says the Court can order an option to "appoint no presidential electors at all." The Supreme Court will hear the case.
Update as of Tuesday afternoon: