Pennsylvania Delivers a Blistering Rebuke of Texas Lawsuit

Mish

Once again, Republican hopes are up on a laughable longshot at overturning the election.

Surreal Alternate Reality

Please note that Pennsylvania issues Blistering Rebuke of Texas' lawsuit seeking to invalidate millions of votes.

Statements by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro

  1. "Texas seeks to invalidate elections in four states for yielding results with which it disagrees. Its request for this Court to exercise its original jurisdiction and then anoint Texas's preferred candidate for President is legally indefensible and is an affront to principles of constitutional democracy." 
  2. The lawsuit, rests on a "surreal alternate reality."
  3. "Texas's effort to get this Court to pick the next President has no basis in law or fact. The Court should not abide this seditious abuse of the judicial process, and should send a clear and unmistakable signal that such abuse must never be replicated."
  4. "Nothing in the text, history, or structure of the Constitution supports Texas's view that it can dictate the manner in which four sister States run their elections, and Texas suffered no harm because it dislikes the results in those elections." 

Correct on All Four

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is clearly correct on all four counts.

"This case is hopeless," said SCOTUSblog publisher Tom Goldstein, who argues frequently before the court.

Hopeless Case

Also consider Big Problems with Texas' Bid to Overturn Biden's Win at the Supreme Court

The lawsuit, which Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed Monday, calls on the court to delay the electoral vote in the four targeted states, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, to allow investigations of voting issues to continue. That would be unconstitutional, said Edward Foley of the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University.

The second hurdle is that Texas has no legal right to claim that officials elsewhere didn't follow the rules set by their own legislatures. The United States doesn't have a national election for president. It has a series of state elections, and one state has no legal standing to challenge how another state conducts its elections any more than Texas could challenge how Georgia elects its senators, legal experts said.

The court filings also appear to have been prepared in haste. For example, the lawsuit says the four states that Texas wants to sue have a total of 72 electoral votes. The total is actually 62.

Officials from both parties in the states named in the lawsuit ripped Paxton's challenge as "a publicity stunt" loaded with "false and irresponsible" allegations.

False and Irresponsible Allegations

Let's dive into the Texas Filing for absurd charges. 

Expert analysis using a commonly  accepted statistical test further raises serious  questions as to the integrity of this election. 

The probability of former Vice President  Biden winning the popular vote in the four Defendant States—Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—independently given President Trump’s early lead in those States as of 3 a.m. on November 4, 2020, is less than one in a quadrillion, or 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000. 

The same less than one in a quadrillion statistical improbability of Mr. Biden winning the popular vote in the four Defendant States—Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin— independently exists when Mr. Biden’s performance in each of those Defendant States is compared to former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s performance in the 2016 general election and President Trump’s performance in the 2016 and 2020 general elections. 

Statistical Madness

Robert Madsen on American Thinker takes a deep dive into statistical madness in A Summary of the Texas Election Lawsuit.

The Texas lawsuit claims the odds of Biden overcoming Trump’s lead and winning any of the states after the point indicated was one in a quadrillion. And therefore, the odds of winning all four was one in a quadrillion to the fourth power. The lawsuit did not provide information on how that number was determined. This may seem an exaggerated to some. It is enough to state that the odds of winning any one of the states was highly unlikely and the odds of winning all four were extremely unlikely. For example, if the odds of winning any one of the states was numerically much less extreme but still highly unlikely, say something like one in twenty, then the odds of doing that in all four states would be 1 in 160,000. Twenty beans in a jar: 19 white and 1 black. Reach in without looking and be lucky enough to pull out the one black bean. Chances of doing that again is 1 in 400. Clearly indicative of cheating if someone claims to have done that four times in a row. As I said the statistical analysis behind the claim of odds of 1 in a 1,000,000,000,000 are not given so I cannot speak to that. But even if the odds were orders of magnitude better than that, they were still astronomically small. At any rate, the merits of the lawsuit do not depend on any certain level of odds of Biden overcoming a lead that had been established by 3:00 A.M. the day after election .

Trump Bets on Longshot Texas Election Lawsuit

The Wall Street Journal also shreds the lawsuit in Trump Bets on Longshot Texas Election Lawsuit

Mr. Trump called the lawsuit “the big one” in a tweet Wednesday. “The Supreme Court has a chance to save our Country from the greatest Election abuse in the history of the United States,” the president tweeted Thursday.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel called the Texas lawsuit “a publicity stunt.” Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said the suit was “genuinely embarrassing.” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro called the allegations “meritless” and “beyond reckless.”

A group of Republican former officials filed a friend of the court brief calling Texas’s claim “a mockery of federalism and separation of powers. It would violate the most fundamental constitutional principles for this Court to serve as the trial court for presidential election disputes,” they argued. Signers included a foremost Supreme Court advocate, Carter Phillips, along with former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, former Missouri Sen. John Danforth and Lowell Weicker, a former Connecticut governor, senator and congressman.

The only question before the Supreme Court is whether Texas has permission to file its case. Most cases that come before the justices have first gone through lower courts, but the Constitution authorizes states to file suits directly with the Supreme Court. The court’s practice, however, has been to accept such cases only when they involve disputes that cannot first be heard elsewhere.

The Texas suit is the brashest attempt yet by GOP officials to invalidate the election, and constitutional scholars said they doubt the Supreme Court will entertain a suit proposing to disenfranchise millions of voters.

If Texas gets its way, the Supreme Court will basically be throwing out a presidential election despite no evidence of fraud or that the results aren’t accurate,” said University of Texas law professor Steve Vladek, calling the lawsuit one of the most bizarre court filings of the 2020 election cycle. “It’s crazy.

Texas rests much of its argument on a disputed statistical analysis by economist Charles Ciccetti, who claims Mr. Biden’s odds of winning the four defendant states were “1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,” given that Mr. Trump carried them in his 2016 race against Hillary Clinton.

Laughable Claims

It never helps your case when you make laughable, easily-disproved, claims. 

  • It was well understood, nearly universally, that Trump's initial lead was based on election day votes. 
  • It was also well understood that mail in votes would be counted last.
  • Finally, it was well understood that mail in votes were overwhelmingly  Democratic in nature.

All of those points were made well in advance of the counting. 

I commented on that on August 30 in On Election Night, We Might Not Know Who Won

Expect Very Skewed Election Night Reporting

Election Night Scorecard

On October 31, I gave more detailed expectations in Election Night Scorecard: Here's What to Watch

Michigan Results: It’s going to take a few days. The earliest absentee ballots can be processed is Nov. 2, which likely does not leave enough time to count them all by election night. The secretary of state estimates that it could take until Friday, Nov. 6, for all ballots to be counted and a winner to be declared. 

Michigan Shifts: Margins will probably shift toward Democrats in the days after Nov. 3 as mail votes are added to the results.

Pennsylvania Results: It’ll be slow going. Although around half of Pennsylvanians are expected to vote absentee, those ballots can’t start being processed until 7 a.m. on Nov. 3. Simply put, that’s not enough time for many counties to count them all before the day is over. (For example, Bucks County plans to count ballots 24 hours a day and still doesn’t expect to be done until the end of the week.) Overall, election officials estimate that “the overwhelming majority” of votes will be counted by Friday. That said, don’t rule out an even longer wait. During the June primary, about half of counties were still counting a week after the election. No matter what, we’ll definitely know the outcome by Nov. 23 — the deadline for counties to stop counting.

Pennsylvania Shifts: Election-night results are expected to be disproportionately made up of Election Day votes, which will probably skew Republican. Then, as absentee ballots are counted in the ensuing days, the state will probably experience a blue shift.

Wisconsin Results: It may take all night, but we should have all results by Wednesday morning. Despite not being able to process absentee ballots until Election Day (which originally stoked fears of a delayed count), many counties say they will be able to count everything on election night: Washington County plans to have all results by 10:30 p.m. Eastern; Kenosha, Sheboygan and Fond du Lac by 1 a.m. Eastern; Waukesha County by 4 a.m. Eastern; and Milwaukee County sometime between 4 and 7 a.m. Eastern. The governor has predicted that we will know the outcome of the election “hopefully that night and maybe at the latest the very next day.”

Wisconsin Shifts: Most municipalities count absentee and Election Day votes together, but others — including Milwaukee — count them separately and may release absentee votes all at once toward the end of the night, which could nudge races toward Democrats.

Contrary to the laughable claim of 1 in a quadrillion, the late shits toward Democrats was called well in advance then repeated. 

Had I seen that preposterous claim, I would have wanted to file my own friend of the court briefing.

Morally and Ethically Bankrupt

John Kasich is a former Republican governor of Ohio.

An Attorney General With Principles

If you are worried the Supreme Court will decide for Trump, you should instead be shaking your head at how preposterous this setup is and how laughable the claims are.

Mish

Comments (130)
No. 1-47
Eddie_T
Eddie_T

It’s an attempt to give the judicial branch a chance to be partisan....that’s ALL it is....and let’s hope that we aren’t quite to the point where the SCOTUS will rule for Trump just because he appointed three of the justices...and/or that the court is skewed conservative at the present moment.

But frankly, I’m glad Scalia is dead.

randocalrissian
randocalrissian

The shred of doubt that SCOTUS will respect the rule of law is sickening, and should not even dare enter anyone's mind. Yet there it is, tormenting millions. This is part of the slash and burn campaign. Eliminate public trust in:

  1. Elections
  2. Election Officials
  3. Judiciary
  4. Chief Justice Roberts specifically
  5. Rule of Law

We don't want to see what's next, whatever it is.

njbr
njbr

Trump has called the Republican officials and AG's in the affected states and told them that they should stand down and not mount an opposition to his suit.

....President Trump reportedly called Georgia's attorney general, a Republican, to urge him not to rally other GOP attorneys general in opposition to a lawsuit from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) seeking to invalidate the presidential election results in four states.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the call took place Tuesday evening after Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (R) called the arguments laid out by Paxton in his lawsuit "constitutionally, morally, and factually wrong" in a statement the same day.

The call reportedly occurred at the urging of one of Georgia's senators, David Perdue (R), who along with fellow Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) announced their support for Paxton's lawsuit this week.....

njbr
njbr

Which raises the question--if we have the state guys unwilling to mount an effective defense, or are pressured to stand down by the Republicans in their state, who will mount the opposition?

Who has standing in these suits PLUS has the gumption to mount a balls-to-the-walls legal takedown of these neo-fascists?

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

John Cornyn was very skeptical in an interview I read today.....but then he’s an experienced jurist. He knows it’s bullshit....he didn’t say that exactly, but he wasn’t endorsing the case by any means.

Jackula
Jackula

Where is the actual evidence? Its sad tho to see how low the faith in US institutions has dropped. Trump is helping that trend.

Mr. Purple
Mr. Purple

Let's get down to brass tacks.

The entity that decides to overturn the election results will be responsible for the mass killing that will necessarily follow.

Now I ask: who exactly is volunteering for THAT responsibility?

njbr
njbr

What I find immensely disturbing is how partisan the breakdown is around the suit--these AG's in support of the suit certainly don't belong in office if they can't see how flawed and wrong this suit is.

And the effn disgusting worm that Ted Cruz has turned into is appalling. His wife and father impugned by Trump, but hey, he'll bust the Consitution for Trump...

Toppa
Toppa

Nothing I read above relates to the basis of the suit. Texas says the other states broke their own election laws, which they did, and changed how votes could be counted. That affected who won the election, contrary to Texas's vote

Henry_MixMaster
Henry_MixMaster

The Attorneys General that signed onto this suit must be sanctioned.

QTPie
QTPie

It should be noted that the mail in ballot counting “crisis” on election night, such that it even was a crisis, could have been easily avoided had Republican-controlled state legislatures allowed their election officials to canvass their mail-in ballots prior to the election like many states like Florida and Ohio do.

Republicans keep harping on the potential fraud associated with mail-in ballots but have still yet to show actual instances of such fraud except for a tiny number of localized instances affecting some local elections.

njbr
njbr

My understanding of the bogus "quadrillion" odds is it is based on the assumption that every vote, regardless of when it was received, was as likely to be a Trump vote as a Biden vote.

This disregarded the time effects where early counts of in-person voting (which was done more by Trump fans) resulted in a Trump lead early on, and then that was offset by the absentee ballots (done more by Biden fans).

So after some magic cut-off time, when Trump was ahead, the statistial "analysis" assumes that the later-counted ballots would be just as likely to be for Trump as for Biden. And the odds of Biden's win comes into the "quadrillions", because far more votes went for Biden in the absentee ballots.

The statistical mistake is, as Mish said, it was always the case that more Biden voters would be absentee voters and thereby counted later.

So assuming the late votes would be equally for Trump as for Biden was the fatal mistake in the statistical "analysis". Votes affected by a time of counting element cannot be compared to the flipping of a coin repeatedly and running into a string of hundreds of thousands of heads more than tails.

Carl_R
Carl_R

Obviously this lawsuit has no merit, and presumably it will die a quick death. The judges and justices involved in these lawsuits have earned great respect by sticking to the rule of law, regardless of which party appointed them. I don't expect that to change.

So, if this lawsuit has no hope, and never had hope, why bring it, and why bring the 50 other pointless and doomed jokes of lawsuits? There are only two possible explanations I can think of, money and power. The money argument is that the point is to extend fund raising. Trump may need a lot of money after he ceases to be President, so a huge fund raising boom at the close will serve him well. The power argument is that Trump will use his series of losses in court to argue that the whole system is corrupt, and that the only option he has left is to suspend the Constitution so that he can remain President for life.

So, is the point of bringing futile, laughable lawsuits money, or power? I'm hoping it's money.

Webej
Webej

Whole article fails to mention that they are appealing to the constitution, Art I § 4.

They have standing because they are claiming a conflict between States, which cannot be adjudicated in other courts.

All they have to prove is that rules other than those set by the State legislature were being following.

Will the justices limit themselves to points of law?
Unlikely, Scotus has not become so controversial for sticking to the literal text.

Will Kavanaugh and Thomas defer to the nice democrats who would not subvert proceedings for mere political ends?
Who knows. Don't count on it...

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

"All they have to prove is that rules other than those set by the State legislature were being followed.”

I think they also have to prove Texas was clearly harmed by the outcome, even if that were true...and I’m not even sure the premise is true.

Since over 46% of Texans voted for Biden, I think that might be a stretch.

Roger_Ramjet
Roger_Ramjet

Based on the Republican's PhD expert (ho ho), there is no way that Ronald Regan could have beat Jimmy Carter in a landslide in the 1980 presidential election. I want a recount! Wondering if there is a hashtag for #moronphds

njbr
njbr

....Moreover, 3 U.S.C. § 5 expressly and properly enables a state to designate "its" state tribunals as the "conclusive" arbiter of "any controversy or contest concerning" presidential election results in that state. (Emphasis added.) In the rare instance that a state supreme court's ruling violates a federal constitutional provision or statute, this Court has appellate jurisdiction. See, e.g., Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98, 100-01 (2000) (per curiam)....

Each state sets its own rules and ajucates its own cases for elections, and only if the state courts ruling violates the Consitution, it can then be brought on appeal to the Supreme Court.

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

Mish, my first reaction was, “what Texas lawsuit?”. I didn’t see anything in The Chicago Tribune about it.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

This is just an effort to raise more money.

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

Oh, this is merely about the Enforcement Acts of 1871, designed to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment and Civil Rights Act of 1866, otherwise known as the Klu Klux Klan Acts. These were all done by the Yankees, by the way.

LawrenceBird
LawrenceBird

I just googled 'when will trump declare martial law' and it came back with 'approximately 6,4800,000 results'

Tengen
Tengen

The people still claiming a second term for Trump are total masochists. It's like they are enjoying every second of agony for over five weeks. Maybe it feeds into a martyr complex or something, but the dedication is sort of impressive.

Of course these people should be angry that bankers run our society, effectively dooming their kids and grandkids to poverty, not that an orange conman didn't get a second term. That's the one (arguably) good thing about Trump dragging his feet, that it's bringing people to anger more quickly, even if it's for the wrong reasons.

Sechel
Sechel

I"m surprised the supreme court hasn't rejected this case yet. Breyer and Kagan must have left early for Chanukah

Sechel
Sechel

This case scares me. No I don't think Trump has a prayer at winning it, but its more than a bit concerning that 17 state a.g's an over a hundred representatives have signed on in support. Our Democracy is really in trouble.

Sechel
Sechel

Well we know why Paxton signed on. He's aiming for a pardon.

Sechel
Sechel

Well we know why Paxton signed on. Pardon.

Sechel
Sechel

Supreme Court is not the appropriate court. It's designed for when states have disputes about borders , like river boundaries. what's next NY sues Arizona in Federal court because it doesn't like their drinking age law?

And Trump picked the wrong Supreme court. It's now stacked with conservatives and this very suit is an attack on Federalism. The U.S. constitution is not what matters , but each states own State Constitution, which means the case goes to that state's Supreme Court.

And the evidence in this case? They used Z-scores from the 2016 election and want to make the case that mail ballots should follow the same patterns as day of voting walk in ballots. It's embarrassing that any lawyer worth his salt has signed on , and its almost as embarrassing that someone with an alleged degree in math or statistics is submitting expert testimony promoting such non-sense.

Sechel
Sechel

about that statistics Texas used in its complaint...

Realist
Realist

When does the coup begin? I'm anxious to watch. How many people who commented on the thread are willing to die for Trump?

ajc1970
ajc1970

Trump's claims and these suits are ridiculous, but the (media's/Democrat's/Neocon's) claims of damage to our Democracy are off-base.

If anything, it's going to show that in our system, the loser, even if an incumbent, is getting escorted out on Inauguration Day, because we're not a banana republic.

There's no institutional harm in letting Trump have his (losing) day in the courts.

Ironically the worst damage is to the GOP... this looks so bad. It may cost them a Senate seat (or two) in Georgia.

The worst damage could be that it gives the Democrats the House, Senate and White House and we end up with idiotic left-wing legislation that is impossible to ditch in the coming decades. Institutional harm: nope. Harm to the people because of blowback for his own Party: potentially big...

Yeah, I wish he'd knock off this crap. I think he's raising lots of $ off it though. Sigh.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Re: "The Russians did interfere in the 2016 election. "

Russia had no meaningful interference, if indeed any worth discussing at all. It is silly to believe otherwise.

Hillary's attempt to lay the blame on Russia is laughable

Kimo
Kimo

The Constitution gives State Legislatures the sole right to decide electors, not Secretaries of State. The rules were bent out of shape by the SOS, the damage is that the citizens of another State, Texas, have to live with the candidate that otherwise, would not have won. That is the case at hand. How SCOTUS decides is up to them.

Jeff Larry
Jeff Larry

At this point, I'm actually coming here for the plethora of trashy ads.

Mish
Mish

Editor

  1. Texas has no jurisdiction and was not harmed.
  2. The lawsuit is too late.
  3. The proposed remedy would disenfranchise millions.
  4. The states have already certified the electors
  5. It is preposterous for Texas to tell other states how they should run elections
Viktor.
Viktor.

Dear Mish
This article bigger as minimum twice than usually.
This article is so huge because Texas are right.
Today you need more words to
deceive and confuse yours followers

Realist
Realist

The high levels of hatred and animosity between Americans just keeps increasing. Trump, the Republicans and the Democrats keep fighting each other as American citizens and businesses suffer. They can’t even agree to keep funding the government, let alone help those going hungry, being evicted, of suffering in other ways. America is crumbling under the weight of this animosity.

KidHorn
KidHorn

Maybe trump has no basis for his allegations, but blasting him is asinine. The democrats spent 4 years and millions of taxpayer dollars trying to overturn 2016. Trump has spent a month.

mare v
mare v

I agree! While Americans die, starve, and are losing their jobs and homes the politicians dont seem to care. Well they do care about their own paychecks. That is why the republican senators are not saying anything about Trump demoralizing our democracy. He can ruin their chances for reelection if he trashes them in the media. Kentucky screwed everyone when they brought back McConnel. He said he didnt want to give americans $300 a week because they would stay home and not work. He cant just help people without getting something in return that trump wants. Its laughable blackmail. They all will be at home enjoying the holidays while the rest of us see everything we own being taken away and loved ones dying alone. We all are carrying the weight of this ridiculous political fight. Our children are being affected by whats happening. I for one think that every politician that didnt stand up and fight for the people most affected by this virus (i.e.) job loss, food, housing, should be gone in our next elections. They are supposed to work for us. Lets put them on notice. If you want to quietly collect your paychecks you are useless to us and will not continue to hold your positions. Help the people of the united states. That should be your only concern right now.

JONZDOG
JONZDOG

Did the PA supreme court have the authority per the US Constitution to extend the vote deadline. IMHO it did not.

compsult
compsult

Mish, this is a case of Constitutional law, something I studied in undergrad. Texas has a strong case based on Constitutional law. Don't get me wrong, I don't like the idea of another 4 years, but on strictly legal grounds, there is a strong case

Rocky Raccoon
Rocky Raccoon

Well I see my US Senator, Senator Candy Crush (Josh Hawley) has jumped on board supporting this crap... Anything to advance in what used to be a great political party that has been reduced to sewage under Trump.

goldguy
goldguy

Below is the exact point of the debate.

  1. Inaction would disenfranchise as many voters as
    taking action allegedly would. Moreover, acting
    decisively will not only put lower courts but also state
    and local officials on notice that future elections must
    conform to State election statutes, requiring
    legislative ratification of any change prior to the
    election. Far from condemning this and other courts
    to perpetual litigation, action here will stanch the
    flood of election-season litigation.

If the supreme court hears this, which they probably will, how ever it turns out, half the voters will be pissed off. Get out your popcorn.

goldguy
goldguy

Sechel
Sechel

This just gets sillier, The States of New California and New Nevada have joined the suit and filed Amicus briefs. They don't even say what they are.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

Canada is looking better every day.

Carl_R
Carl_R

Supreme Court correctly declines to get involved. The case never had merit, and this was inevitable, and was just for show. The point was to build support for his argument that the whole system as against him (it actually reinforces the point that he simply lost).

Now we wait for the next shoe to drop. The next step seems inevitable. I am sure that Trump will invoke the law from the 1800's, and force every Republican Congressman and Senator to put on paper whether they are with him or against him. After that, we will wait to see if Trump thinks his control over the military is strong enough to suspend the Constitution, arguing that they system is broken, so it can't be allowed to continue, and then makes himself President (aka Dictator) anyway.


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