Frosh, Harris Join Opposing Briefs in Texas Suit Claiming Election ‘Irregularities’

Maryland’s lone Republican Representative Andrew P. Harris and Democratic Attorney General Brian E. Frosh have joined dueling briefs filed with the Supreme Court as part of a long-shot Texas lawsuit that seeks to delay the certification of presidential election battleground states that President-elect Joe Biden won. Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

More than 100 U.S. House Republicans on Thursday backed a long-shot Texas lawsuit that seeks to delay the certification of presidential election results for Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin, battleground states that President-elect Joe Biden won.

In asking to join the suit filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson led 105 of his Republican colleagues ― including Maryland Rep. Andrew P. Harris ― in supporting the efforts of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R).

The group makes up more than half of the 196 GOP members of the House. Most Republicans in Congress have refused to directly state whether they believe President Trump was defeated on Nov. 3.

“This brief amicus curiae presents the concern of amici as Members of Congress, shared by untold millions of their constituents, that the unconstitutional irregularities involved in the 2020 presidential election cast doubt upon its outcome and the integrity of the American system of elections,” according to the brief from the lawmakers.

Johnson tweeted that “President Trump called me this morning to let me know how much he appreciates the amicus brief we are filing on behalf of Members of Congress. Indeed, ‘this is the big one!’”

Paxton alleges that election officials in those battleground states illegally changed voting laws, which caused voting irregularities and changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

The FBI, Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr have found no evidence of voter fraud or voter irregularities. Trump has directed his legal team to file lawsuits in an attempt to overturn the election results.

Paxton filed his suit with the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week, asking for a delay in the electoral college vote scheduled for Dec. 14.

But Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) responded in a brief that the suit was “an affront to principles of constitutional democracy.”

“What Texas is doing in this proceeding is to ask this Court to reconsider a mass of baseless claims about problems with the election that have already been considered, and rejected, by this Court and other courts,” he wrote.

GeorgiaMichigan and Wisconsin have also filed briefs urging the Supreme Court to throw out Paxton’s suit. So has the city of Detroit.

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) joined more than 20 colleagues who also filed a brief opposing the Texas lawsuit.

“Our country held a free and fair election with record turnout in the midst of a pandemic,” Frosh said in a statement. “Despite multiple losses in courts across the country, the President and his allies continue to peddle false claims of voter fraud. These actions are an abuse of the legal system. It is time to end the misinformation and accept the choice of the people.”

Other attorneys general to sign on to that brief are from the District of Columbia, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington state.

Election experts have sharply criticized the suit and it was unclear how much support Paxton has in his own state.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters on Capitol Hill that he didn’t understand the legal theory of the Texas lawsuit and said he wouldn’t want Texas to have jurisdiction over another state and vice versa.

“I don’t want other states to have a chance to change Texas law, based on a similar effort,” he said, according to pool reports. “We have a federal system where the states are sovereign.”

Maryland Matters reporter Danielle E. Gaines contributed to this report.

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Ariana Figueroa
Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance. Before joining States Newsroom, Ariana covered public health and chemical policy on Capitol Hill for E&E News. As a Florida native, she's worked for the Miami Herald and her hometown paper, the Tampa Bay Times. Her work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and NPR. She is a graduate of the University of Florida.