SPRINGFIELD – A longshot legal challenge to overturn the results of the presidential election in four swing states — which was opposed by 23 Democratic attorneys general, including Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul — was rejected Friday evening by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a brief order, U.S. Supreme Court justices declined to accept the case, writing, “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.”

Two Supreme Court justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, wrote separately in the order that they would have granted the motion to file lawsuit “but would not grant other relief,” and they expressed “no view on any other issue.”

The lawsuit was filed last week by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton directly with the U.S. Supreme Court, which is the venue for lawsuits between states.

In a statement Friday evening Paxton wrote “It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court decided not to take this case and determine the constitutionality of these four states’ failure to follow federal and state election law. I will continue to tirelessly defend the integrity and security of our elections and hold accountable those who shirk established election law for their own convenience.”

Raoul issued his own written statement Friday evening praising the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision.

“I am pleased the Supreme Court has seen Texas’ lawsuit for what it is: a frivolous attempt to disenfranchise millions of voters. State attorneys general swear an oath to defend against violations of the Constitution, and it is absolutely outrageous that any attorney general would use the authority of his office to undertake a meritless legal effort with no basis in the law – or reality,” Raoul’s statement read.

The Texas lawsuit— brought against the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Pennsylvania— argued that the U.S. Supreme Court should block presidential electors in those four states from voting in the Electoral College because those states allegedly implemented unconstitutional changes to their mail-in and absentee voting rules prior to the election.

All 50 states have certified their election results, and presidential electors from each state convene the Electoral College Monday to cast their votes for the candidate who won their state or congressional district.

Paxton’s lawsuit was joined by 17 other Republican attorneys general. President Donald Trump also filed a motion to intervene in the Texas lawsuit.

Paxton alleged in the lawsuit that the four states violated the Electors Clause in the U.S. Constitution, which states, in part, “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….”

Raoul and the 22 attorneys general of the opposing coalition asserted in their legal brief that the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the Electors Clause in a way that allows legislatures to delegate authority to elections administrators or other state government entities.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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