Washington, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- Three days before the Electoral College is set to certify Democrat Joe Biden as the next president of the United States, the Supreme Court rejected Friday a lawsuit filed by Texas against four other states with the aim of reversing Republican incumbent Donald Trump’s defeat in the Nov. 3 election.
“The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution. Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections,” the Court wrote. “All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.”
Only two of the nine justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, demurred and their dissent was solely on procedural grounds.
“In my view, we do not have discretion to deny the filing of a bill of complaint in a case that falls within our original jurisdiction. I would therefore grant the motion to file the bill of complaint but would not grant other relief, and I express no view on any other issue,” Alito wrote on behalf of Thomas and himself.
“Original jurisdiction” refers to the very narrow category of cases in which the Supreme Court is the court of first instance, rather than the court of final appeal.
Under the US Constitution, only the Supreme Court can hear cases involving disputes among states.
On Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the Supreme Court to exclude the 62 electoral votes represented by the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin from Biden’s total of 306.
The threshold to win the presidency is 270 electoral votes.
Paxton, who has been under indictment since 2015 and is reported to be the subject of an active FBI investigation for corruption, accused the governors of those states – including Republican Brian Kemp of Georgia – of using the Covid-19 pandemic as a “pretext” for vastly expanding vote-by-mail.
The outgoing president, who refuses to acknowledge his defeat despite figures showing that he lost the national popular vote by a margin of more than 7 million, joined the lawsuit Wednesday as a private citizen.
By Friday, 17 Republican state attorneys general and more than half of the Republicans in the US House of Representatives had also signed on to the suit as plaintiffs or friends of the court.
Twenty-three other attorneys general filed friend of the court briefs in support of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
“If the Supreme Court shows great Wisdom and Courage, the American People will win perhaps the most important case in history, and our Electoral Process will be respected again!,” Trump tweeted Friday, hours before the justices rejected the suit.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to the results in Pennsylvania, whose attorney general, Josh Shapiro, blasted Paxton’s lawsuit as a “seditious abuse of the judicial process.”
President-elect Biden did not refer to election-related litigation during a press conference Friday afternoon to introduce additional Cabinet nominees.
Instead, he focused on his plan to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed 294,000 lives in the US and plunged the economy into recession.
“My first 100 days won’t end the Covid-19 virus. I can’t promise that,” Biden said at an event in Wilmington, Delaware. “But we did not get in this mess quickly, we’re not going to get out of it quickly, it’s going to take some time. But I’m absolutely convinced that in 100 days we can change the course of the disease and change life in America for the better.”
Biden said he would set a goal to distribute 100 million vaccine shots in his initial 100 days in office, which would cover 50 million people, as the Pfizer vaccine now awaiting regulatory approval requires two doses.
He also urged the Congress to approve a second pandemic relief package before Christmas.
“Millions and millions of Americans simply can’t wait any longer,” Biden said. EFE