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AG Derek Schmidt: Kansas asks U.S. Supreme Court to hear Texas election lawsuit

Release Date: Dec 09, 2020

TOPEKA – (December 9, 2020) – Kansas and 16 other states are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a lawsuit brought by Texas and review whether voting procedures in several states that are alleged to have departed from state statutory requirements also violated the U.S. Constitution, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

“A month ago, Kansas asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the Pennsylvania Supreme Court violated the U.S. Constitution by disregarding the plain requirements of that state’s statutory deadline governing mail-in ballots,” Schmidt said. “Our request remains pending at the high court, and the Texas filing yesterday presents to the Court the same important legal question.”

Principally at issue is whether the U.S. Constitution’s express requirement that “the Legislature” in each state set various election requirements means that other state officials, such as state courts, are federally required to follow state election statutes the Legislature has enacted and lack legal authority to order departures from statutory requirements.

In a motion filed yesterday, Texas asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its federal constitutional challenge to election procedures in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Georgia that Texas says differed from the requirements of those states’ statutes. Kansas today joined with Missouri and 15 other states in filing an amicus brief that asks the high court to grant the Texas motion, hear the case and decide the question.

“These are important and potentially recurring constitutional questions that need an answer to guide states,” Schmidt said. “Kansas ran its elections honestly and by the rules that are supposed to apply evenly to all of us. 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. Since yesterday, we have been working closely with Missouri to determine the best legal arguments to present to the Court, and those arguments are advanced in this brief.”

A copy of the brief Kansas joined in support of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing the Texas lawsuit is available https://bit.ly/3qKvRWS.

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