AG Nessel Files Michigan's Response to Texas' Election Lawsuit in SCOTUS

Contact: Ryan Jarvi 517-599-2746
Agency: Attorney General

December 10, 2020 

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has filed her response today with the U.S. Supreme Court to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit, which seeks to overturn the election results in Michigan and several other battleground states. 

In her response, Nessel notes that the challenge by Texas is “an unprecedented one, without factual foundation and without a valid legal basis.” 

“The base of Texas’s claims rests on an assertion that Michigan has violated its own election laws. Not true,” the filing states. “That claim has been repeatedly rejected in the federal and state courts in Michigan, and just yesterday the Michigan Supreme Court rejected a last-ditch effort to request an audit. Not only is the complaint here meritless, but its jurisdictional flaws abound and provide solid ground to dispose of this action.” 

Part of the jurisdictional flaw with this lawsuit is Texas’s end-around to the country’s traditional judicial process by filing its complaint directly with the U.S. Supreme Court.  

Along with Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin were listed as defendants in the suit. All the defendant states had claims similar to those noted in Texas’s complaint brought in their respective federal and state appellate courts, and those claims have been soundly and summarily rejected.  

“Trump and his ambassadors – like the Texas Attorney General – have used our court system to wage a disinformation campaign baselessly attacking the integrity of our election system. In addition to just spreading falsehoods on social media platforms, through media channels, and from seats positioned before our state legislatures, they’ve now done so at our country’s highest court,” Nessel said. “I am confident the Supreme Court will reject Texas’ bid to disenfranchise millions of Michigan voters and I am proud to represent the people of my state in defense of the very essence of our core democratic values. Michigan voters will decide the outcome of their elections, not Texas politicians. ”   

False claims made against election officials in Michigan have varied from prohibiting Republican poll challengers from monitoring the counting of votes, to the legality of mail-in ballots cast and election fraud. 

President Donald Trump has expressed his intent to intervene in Texas’ lawsuit, while several Republican state attorneys general have filed amicus briefs in support of Texas. 

The case is just one of many that have been filed following the Nov. 3 general election disputing the results that gave Democratic President-elect Joe Biden a resounding victory over Republican President Trump.  

ELECTION LITIGATION UPDATE 

  • Johnson et al v Whitmer et al: The Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a motion for leave in the case, which asked the Court to allow election results to be provided to the Legislature so that it could conduct an audit. 
  • Bailey v Antrim County: The Attorney General’s office filed a motion Wednesday to intervene in the case on behalf of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. In the suit, pending in the 13th Circuit Court, the plaintiff alleges voting equipment in Antrim County was rigged to miscount votes cast in favor of President Trump and that the election there was fraudulently manipulated. 
  • Dar Leaf et al v Whitmer et al: The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on Monday denied a motion for a temporary restraining order filed by plaintiffs in the suit that alleged, without any evidence, widespread election fraud. Judge Robert Jonker, in his opinion, wrote: “Plaintiffs’ applications invite the Court to make speculative leaps toward a hazy and nebulous inference that there has been numerous instances of election fraud and that Defendants are destroying the evidence. There is simply nothing of record to infer as much, much less conclude that irreparable injury will occur before the defendants can be heard.” 
  • Constantino et al v City of Detroit et al: After their appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals was denied, plaintiffs appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court. This appeal was denied on November 23 and remains pending before the state court. This suit alleges a “litany of errors” in the processing of ballots at the TCF Center. 
  • King et al v Benson et al: The district court denied a motion for injunctive relief on Monday, December 7. The plaintiffs allege the same list of irregularities in the City of Detroit’s election as in the Constantino case. 

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