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Kansas supports long-shot election challenge, as Trump seeks to intervene

Mark Sherman and Marc Levy
The Associated Press
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican, signed on to a brief Wednesday supporting a long-shot bid to overturn the presidential election results.

Kansas is one of 17 states that filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Wednesday in support of a long-shot Supreme Court case challenging election results in four key swing states.

It comes as President Donald Trump said Wednesday that his campaign will seek to join the case, which was filed Tuesday by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican.

The friend of the court brief, which Kansas signed on to, is being led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmidt. The group of conservative attorneys general argue the issue implicates their constituents, even though the results being challenged are in four swing states.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a statement that “these are important and potentially recurring constitutional questions that need an answer.”

“Kansas ran its elections honestly and by the rules that are supposed to apply evenly to all of us,” Schmidt said. “Texas asserts it can prove four states violated the U.S. Constitution in an election that affects all Americans, so Texas should be heard. Everyone would benefit from clarity about what the U.S. Constitution requires of states as they administer federal elections.”

The suit demands that the 62 total Electoral College votes in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin be invalidated. That is enough, if set aside, to swing the election to Trump. Paxton’s suit repeats a litany of false, disproven and unsupported allegations about mail-in ballots and voting in the four battlegrounds.

“We will be INTERVENING in the Texas (plus many other states) case,” Trump said. “This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!”

Legal experts dismissed Paxton’s filing as the latest and perhaps longest legal shot since Election Day, and officials in the four states sharply criticized Paxton. “I feel sorry for Texans that their tax dollars are being wasted on such a genuinely embarrassing lawsuit,” said Wisconsin’s attorney general, Josh Kaul.

The Supreme Court, without comment Tuesday, refused to call into question the certification process in Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf, D-Pa., already has certified Biden’s victory and the state’s 20 electors are to meet on Dec. 14 to cast their votes for the former vice president.

In any case, Biden won 306 electoral votes, so even if Pennsylvania’s results had been in doubt, he still would have more than the 270 electoral votes needed to become president.

Shortly before tweeting about joining Paxton’s case, Trump distanced himself from the Pennsylvania challenge, saying it wasn’t his. “The case everyone has been waiting for is the State’s case with Texas and numerous others joining,” he said.

The court’s decision not to intervene in Pennsylvania came in a suit led by Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., and GOP congressional candidate and Trump favorite Sean Parnell, who lost to Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa.

“Even Trump appointees & Republicans saw this for what it was: a charade,” Lamb said on Twitter.

In court filings, lawyers for Pennsylvania and Wolf, said the suit’s claims were “fundamentally frivolous” and its request “one of the most dramatic, disruptive invocations of judicial power in the history of the Republic.”

Capital-Journal staff writer Andrew Bahl contributed to this report.