It was announced today that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, on behalf of the State of Texas, has sued the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Michigan alleging pandemic-based changes to the voting laws in those states “tainted” votes cast in Texas for the 2020 Presidential Election.
At first blush, this might seem little more a publicity stunt (it almost certainly is, otherwise our Attorney General seems to have forgotten basic concepts of law). Can one state sue another state? Yes; such cases cannot be brought in state court (for obvious reasons), so the Attorney General filed a motion requesting permission for his case in the Supreme Court of the United States.
Despite there being virtually no chance that the Supreme Court actually hears the case, if the Supreme Court elected to take a peek at it, it would almost certainly dump the case on standing issues. Consider: what stake (standing) does Texas have to challenge the voting systems in other states? None. So, the Attorney General cooked up a scheme involving the idea that those voting systems in other states somehow “tainted” the votes cast in Texas. This makes no sense, so naturally the Attorney General spent 154 pages or so making this case (arguing in circles, really), and alleged “rampant lawlessness” in the other states to really drive home the “tainted” nature of your vote and mine.
You can check out his petition here and decide for yourself: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/files/images/admin/2020/Press/SCOTUSFiling.pdf
My bet, though, is that SCOTUS declines to entertain the Attorney General’s publicity stunt. Surely, there are more pressing issues here in our great state than filing garbage like this. And exactly what is it going to cost Texas taxpayers to fund the Attorney General’s pointless lawsuit and flawed ambitions?
It is worth noting that Mr. Paxton is currently under indictment (and has been for about 5 years) for First Degree Felony state securities fraud charges. It might be worth reminding Mr. Paxton that a president has the ability to issue a pardon for federal crimes but not state charges. (Governors handle pardons for State charges.)