Ted Cruz’s Eagerness to Fight Trump’s Legal Battles Epitomizes the GOP’s Complete Lack of Principles
Ted Cruz will not get a chance to argue that the Supreme Court should stop Joe Biden from taking office by overriding the presidential election results in four battleground states. But the Texas senator’s eagerness to do so speaks volumes about the extent to which the Republican Party has abandoned the principles it once claimed to defend, instead organizing itself around the whims of a president who stands for nothing but his own personal interests.
Donald Trump personally asked Cruz, who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1995 and argued nine cases before the Supreme Court as the solicitor general of Texas, to represent the state if the justices agreed to hear Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s last-ditch lawsuit challenging election procedures in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The senator agreed, his spokesman told The Texas Tribune. Cruz had earlier said he stood ready to argue another pro-Trump lawsuit, in which Rep. Mike Kelly (R–Pa.) maintained that Pennsylvania’s election results should be set aside because the state legislature had violated the Constitution by expanding absentee voting.
Both of those lawsuits, which relied on seemingly contradictory legal theories, were unanimously rejected by a Supreme Court that includes six Republican appointees, half of them nominated by Trump himself. Last week the justices declined to take up the Pennsylvania case in a one-sentence order that was issued without a recorded dissent. On Friday, the Court turned away Paxton’s lawsuit. Seven justices said Texas “has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.”
Two justices, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, thought the Court was obliged to let Paxton file his bill of complaint under its original jurisdiction in cases involving interstate disputes. But they added that they “would not grant other relief.” The upshot, as Damon Root notes, was that “Texas and Trump lost 9–0.”
Despite Trump’s avowed belief that the Court would intervene to give him a second term, the justices were uniformly unimpressed by the legal arguments for doing so, which was hardly surprising. Kelly’s lawsuit was based on the premise that Pennsylvania legislators, who according to Paxton have “exclusive and plenary authority” to decide how presidential electors are selected, did not have the authority to loosen restrictions on voting by mail. Paxton’s lawsuit was widely derided by legal scholars as an ill-conceived, poorly reasoned, and unprecedented attempt to reverse the outcome of a presidential election by asserting that one state has standing to sue others when it disapproves of their election rules.
Election law expert Rick Hasen called Paxton’s case “a press release masquerading as a lawsuit.” A brief from conservative legal scholars and Republican politicians condemned it as “a mockery of federalism and separation of powers.” Case Western Reserve law professor Jonathan Adler warned that Paxton was pushing “a radical argument that would make a mockery of Article II’s delegation of power to state legislatures and upend core elements of our federal system.” Princeton political scientist Keith Whittington worried that Republican officials who backed the lawsuit were “rushing to throw over constitutional and democratic principles in an effort to curry favor with a president wh
Article from Latest – Reason.com