HOUSTON – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed suit seeking to throw out millions of votes in four states.
Many legal experts say it’s unlikely the Supreme Court will even hear the case. But that may not be the point, according to at least one local political scientist that says the lawsuit may have more to do with Paxton’s political prospects.
On Tuesday, Paxton asked the Supreme Court to prevent Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin from certifying their vote results, contending that millions of ballots sent through the mail in those states left the results open to fraud.
South Texas College of Law professor Josh Blackman says the lawsuit is frivolous and not likely to be taken up by the Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court almost never takes cases where one state sues another state. And they never take these cases on an emergency basis if the lower court hasn’t looked at it before. And they’ve never taken a case where one state tried to invalidate an election result in another state.” Blackman says.
But Rice University professor Mark Jones has reason to court the President’s favor.
“If Ken Paxton is the GOP candidate in 2022 that would provide Texas Democrats with their best hope of a victory,” he says.
The Attorney General is currently under pressure from members of his own party to resign after the FBI opened a criminal investigation into claims by seven senior members of his staff that Paxton abused his office to aid a wealthy donor.
The Attorney General is also still awaiting trial on felony security fraud charges returned in 2015. All of that makes Paxton politically vulnerable, according to Jones.
“It’s a smart political move. He realizes that Texas Republicans if they want to get rid of him have to get rid of him in the Texas Republican primary. That’s their only option. And if retains the support of the Trump base it’s going to be very difficult to mount a challenge against him,” Jones said.
The Supreme Court has given the states named in Paxton’s lawsuit until Thursday to respond. Then, it’s up to the justices to decide if they’ll hear it.
KPRC 2 asked the Attorney General’s office for comment, but our call hasn’t been returned as yet. In the past, Paxton has denied abusing his office, insisting those allegations were brought by disgruntled employees.