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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Takes Trump Voter Fraud Plots to Supreme Court

Paxton filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court on Tuesday against the battleground states of Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan – says Trump lost to President-elect Joe Biden, which would invalidate the ballots ballots cast by millions of voters. Trump also asked the court to intervene in Paxton’s lawsuit which is supported by 17 Republican-led states.

But this isn’t the first time the Republican and longtime advocate of the president’s policies has taken up legal arms for Trump.

Earlier this year, Paxton fought Texas Democrats in court over their calls to expand access to voting by mail, a process Trump claimed without evidence leads to widespread voter fraud, in the state due to the coronavirus pandemic. He led a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act in the Supreme Court. Paxton has also backed a number of controversial Trump administration policies, including a travel ban and its attempt to end the program protecting some undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation.

His latest legal challenge is not only a last-ditch attempt to salvage Trump’s faltering chances at a second term, but it also comes as he faces felony charges. It’s also not the first time he’s taken a lawsuit to the Supreme Court involving other states.

Texas high officer and criminal allegations

Paxton served in the Texas State House for a decade and then in the state Senate for less than two years before launching his bid for Texas attorney general in 2014 when he was now governor. Greg Abbott has decided to run to succeed Rick Perry.

During his campaign, Paxton admitted to violating state securities law by soliciting investor clients for his friend and campaign donor’s business. Although he referred clients to his associate, he failed to register with the state of Texas and later paid a $1,000 fine.

Months after becoming attorney general, he was indicted in 2015 by a grand jury on three counts – two charges of securities fraud over $100,0000 and a third felony charge of allegedly advising or representing investors without registering properly, according to booking records. . He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his case was delayed for nearly five years following disputes between Paxton’s attorneys and prosecutors. He was re-elected in 2018.
In October, Paxton was charged by seven of his top aides with bribery, abuse of office and other potentially criminal offences. He denied the allegations to CNN and said the charges were intended to obstruct an investigation into the alleged criminal behavior of other officials.

A long-running case before the Supreme Court

Paxton, the president and the Republican states supporting the lawsuit are asking the court to block voters in Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania who would push Biden below the required total of 270 votes to win. It includes several claims that have been dismissed by state and federal courts regarding the legality of mail-in ballots and alleged voter fraud.

“Using the Covid-19 pandemic as justification,” he wrote in the lawsuit, officials in the battleground states “usurped the authority of their legislatures and unconstitutionally revised the electoral statutes of their state”. Paxton said they did so through “executive fiat” and pointed to mail-in ballots which he said were placed “in drop boxes” with “little or no chain of custody”.

There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and key Republicans, including Texas Sen. John Cornyn, have opposed the effort. Benjamin Ginsberg, a Republican election lawyer and CNN contributor, also criticized the legal documents.

“I can’t imagine anything less faithful to the principle of states’ rights than an attorney general in Texas trying to tell other states how to run their elections,” Ginsberg said.

The Supreme Court also rejected the Pennsylvania Republicans’ request to block certification of the Commonwealth election results and other legal challenges by the Trump campaign have largely failed.

Tackling the ACA and Defending Religious Freedom

He led a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, leading a coalition of Republican-led states that argued that after Congress reduced the tax penalty to zero for those who don’t did not have insurance as part of the year-end tax reform in 2017, the individual’s mandate was no longer tied to a specific tax penalty and had no legal basis. They also argued that because the individual mandate was intertwined with a host of other provisions, the entire law should fall, including protections for people with pre-existing conditions. He asked the Supreme Court in June to declare the health law “unlawful”.
As Attorney General and Conservative, he championed the free exercise of religion. He led a 20-state group defending a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple and filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in 2017.

Kate Sullivan, Vogue’s Ariane and CNN’s Dan Berman contributed to this report.

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Post expires at 5:00pm on Sunday June 26th, 2022