It was the second time this week the court rebuffed Republican requests to overturn the results of an election that both Republican and Democratic officials have said was free and fair. The justices turned away an appeal from Pennsylvania Republicans on Tuesday.
“We respect the decision of the Supreme Court,” Katie Byrd, spokesperson for Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, said Friday.
The decision was not unexpected — the extraordinary effort by one state to overturn election results in other states was a long shot, albeit one supported by many Georgia Republican lawmakers. It’s the latest setback for the efforts by Trump and his supporters to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.
The Electoral College is scheduled to meet Monday to formally declare Biden the next president.
Trump and his supporters continue to make unsubstantiated allegations of widespread voting fraud in the November election. U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger have said their investigators have found no evidence of widespread fraud.
To date, the president and his supporters have filed about 50 lawsuits across the country challenging the election results — none of which have proved successful to date.
In the Supreme Court case, Texas alleged numerous improprieties in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — all states Trump lost. The lawsuit alleges that Georgia election officials illegally changed rules for voter signature verification and early opening of absentee ballot envelopes.
In its response to the lawsuit, Georgia said it did not violate election laws, that similar claims have been raised in numerous unsuccessful lawsuits and that Texas has no standing to tell another state how to conduct its elections.
“The novel and far-reaching claims that Texas asserts, and the breathtaking remedies it seeks, are impossible to ground in legal principles and unimaginable,” Carr argued in his response to the court.
Though legal experts said Texas’ lawsuit had little chance of success, it gave Republicans across the country — including many in Georgia — a chance to demonstrate their fealty to Trump. Georgia’s two U.S. senators, most of its Republican members of Congress and many Republican state legislators sided with Texas against their own state.
On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence fired up a crowd in Augusta by proclaiming, “God bless Texas.”
The Supreme Court decision will not be the last word on the election in Georgia. Several other lawsuits are pending that seek to overturn the presidential election results.
In addition, this week Republicans filed several lawsuits seeking to change the rules for absentee ballots going forward. U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue — who face Jan. 5 runoffs — filed a lawsuit that seeks new rules for signature matching of absentee ballots. The Georgia Republican Party filed another lawsuit that seeks to allow voters to return ballots at drop boxes only during normal business hours, not 24 hours a day.
And the 12th Congressional District Republican Committee filed a lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Augusta. It seeks to prohibit the use of ballot drop boxes altogether and to prohibit the opening of absentee ballot envelopes before election day.