The U.S. Supreme Court late Friday officially put to rest a brazen eleventh-hour attempt by the state of Texas and Republican allies of President Donald Trump to throw out millions of votes in four states and overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
In an unsigned, single-page order, the court rejected a lawsuit brought by Texas, citing a lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution. In dismissing the case, the court said Texas had no "cognizable interest" in how Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia conduct their own elections.
The decision, coming just three days before the Electoral College meets to finalize the presidential selection, shut down what Trump had called "perhaps the most important case in history" without the justices getting into the merits of arguments on either side.
Justice Samuel Alito, in a brief statement joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, said he believed the court should have taken up the case because disputes between states can originate at the high court, but he added that he "would not grant other relief."
"I express no view on any other issue," Alito wrote.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who Trump appointed in October with the express wish that she and the court would "look at the ballots," participated in the decision, as did the two other Trump nominees, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. None expressed a public view on the case.
Hours after the denial, and following the authorization of the United States' first COVID-19 vaccine, Trump tweeted simply: "The Supreme Court really let us down. No Wisdom, No Courage!"
The court did not provide a breakdown of how the justices voted in rejecting Texas' suit.
“Today’s Supreme Court decision is an important reminder that we are a nation of laws, and though some may bend to the desire of a single individual, the courts will not," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, one of the plaintiffs named in the case, said in a statement.
A spokesman for President-elect Biden called the court's order a "decisive and speedy rejection" that was not a surprise. "President-elect Biden's clear and commanding victory will be ratified by the Electoral College on Monday, and he will be sworn in on January 20th,” said Mike Gwin.
Trump has lost nearly 50 cases seeking to challenge election results in courts since Election Day. He's prevailed just once in a case of little significance.
Texas Republican Party chairman and former Congressman Allen West warned the Court's decision "establishes a precedent that says states can violate the U.S. constitution and not be held accountable." He then suggested Texas and its 17 partner states in the suit secede.
"Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution," West said in a statement.