Posted originally on The Conservative Tree House on December 12, 2020 by Sundance
In a disappointing majority decision announced shortly before 6:30pm Friday evening, a majority of Supreme Court justices refused to take up a Texas lawsuit challenging four states in the 2020 election.
The court, with two dissenting options by Justice Alito and Justice Thomas, stated that Texas lacked a legal right to sue and did not have a legal interest in how other states carried out their elections.
The court rejected the Texas’ lawsuit without considering the specific merits of the state’s case.
Texas had asked the court to delay the official vote of the Electoral College, scheduled for Monday, Dec. 14, or prevent the four states from casting votes in the Electoral College for Biden. Justice Alito filed a short statement regarding the court’s disposition of the case and was joined by Justice Clarence Thomas.
The position of the Supreme Court raises an important question that now sits unresolved. If an individual citizen is determined not to have standing to challenge an election result; and if a group of citizens represented by their interest in a state, any state, is also denied standing to challenge an election result; then who can constitutionally challenge an election, any election, that is mired in controversy and demonstrable evidence of fraud?
From the Alliance:
- An individual voter does not have standing to sue for election misconduct. (He/she is only one person and everyone cannot sue all the time for all elections.)
- An official who may be adversely affected, cannot sue before an election in anticipation of bad conduct because it is speculative (not ripe)
- An official who was adversely affected, cannot sue after an election claiming bad conduct because it is too late (latches)
- A state does not have standing to sue on behalf of its citizens to remedy other states’ bad election conduct (no standing)
The result appears to be that no lawsuit involving the recent election cycle has been heard on the merits. Insofar as I am aware, the substance of misconduct claims have not been heard in court. (In fairness, there has been no decision on whether a state can sue itself for election misconduct.)
The U.S.S.C has created a constitutional right to abortion from emanations and penumbras. It has told us there is latitude to provide jobs and college admissions based on race or sex. The high court has created a constitutional right to burn the flag.
The Supreme Court, and other courts, have determined limits on constitutional rights to: free speech, bearing arms, freedom of assembly, religious worship, who can use which bathroom, whether the state can hang a murderer; whether men can compete in women’s sports; whether you can operate a restaurant, how hot your coffee can be, etc. ad nauseum.
However, when it comes to the citizen’s right to make sure his or her vote counts and is not nullified by corrupt and dishonest practices, the courts have decided that it is imperative they restrain themselves from taking a position on the merits.
They have thoughtfully informed us of constraints on them that no-one knew existed. The Friday ruling cites only a conclusion, but no reasoning.
If a state sues, is it not representing its citizens? Isn’t that, at the root, the only function of a state government? Are the citizens’ rights to an honest vote not affected if another state runs a bogus election and the first state’s votes become nullified?
Does a state not have standing to sue because the court anticipates it will not succeed on the merits? Why do courts ever bother to write legal opinions when they can save time and tell us the outcome they have in mind right away?
My untutored mind is having difficulty figuring out just who, and under what circumstances, has a legal right to a fair election.
It seems the current answer is: no-one.