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Top 2 Republicans in House now support Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn presidential election

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Republican Whip Rep. Steve Scalise have formally pledged their support for a lawsuit seeking to have the results of the presidential elections in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin declared unconstitutional and therefore effectively hand President Donald Trump a second term.

McCarthy, a Republican from California and Scalise of Louisiana hold the top two Republican leadership positions in the House of Representatives, and they joined 124 of their GOP colleagues in support of the suit.

On Thursday, an initial filing of the brief had 101 House Republicans signing the brief, but an updated version filed Friday afternoon showed a total of 126 GOP representatives supporting the effort. With 17 Republican attorneys general also backing the suit, a clear majority of Republican House members and attorneys general have now called on the Supreme Court to overturn the results of the November election.

In the suit, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argues the battleground states violated their own election laws and the federal constitution when state officials and courts ordered modifications to election protocol to protect voters from the COVID-19 epidemic.

Though states across the country, including Texas, made similar changes this year, Paxton chose only to sue four battleground states that voted for President-elect Joe Biden.

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Legal observers on both sides of the political spectrum see scant chance that the lawsuit will succeed, and expect the court to either refuse to hear the case whatsoever, or to entertain it, but quickly reject it on the merits. A decision could come as soon as Friday afternoon.

Rick Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, called it possibly the “dumbest case I’ve ever seen filed on an emergency basis at the Supreme Court.”

He called it a “press release masquerading as a lawsuit,” and argued that Texas does not have standing to sue, and even if it did it, would have had to raise objections to these election changes before the election, not after. He added that the remedy Texas seeks would “disenfranchise tens of millions of voters” and that there’s “no reason to believe the voting conducted in any of the states was done unconstitutionally.”

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