Outgoing President Donald Trump and his most fervent liberal critics seem to share one thing in common. Namely, they both appear to believe that Republican-appointed judges will be knee-jerk supporters of Republican politicians in court. The U.S. Supreme Court’s actions last night should disabuse both sides of that simplistic and wrong-headed view.
On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a frivolous and error-riddled lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to directly intervene in the 2020 election by throwing out the results in four states—Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin—that went for President-elect Joe Biden. On Friday night, the Supreme Court wiped that nonsense from its docket with the eagerness of someone wiping dog excrement from the bottom of a shoe.
“The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution,” the Court’s order declared. “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.” In short, SCOTUS answers to the Constitution, not to Trump.
Two members of the Court, Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, did note that, in their view, the Court is duty-bound to let parties file a bill of complaint in a case that falls within the Court’s “original jurisdiction,” a category that, per Article III, includes “Controversies between two or more States.”
But Alito, joined by Thomas, also said this: “I would therefore grant the motion to file the bill of complaint but would not grant other relief.” The other relief sought by Texas in this case was the judicial invalidation of the election results in four battleground states that voted for Biden. Therefore, what the Alito/Thomas legalese means in plain English is that Texas and Trump lost 9-0.
“This is the big one,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday, referring to the Texas suit. It sure was, though not in the way that Trump meant.
“If the Supreme Court ultimately rejects the far-fetched lawsuit that was filed this week by Texas, as I suspect it will,” I recently wrote, “Trump’s judicial humiliation will be complete.”
With this case dead and buried, Trump’s judicial humiliation is complete.