The battlefield states, whose results of the Texas presidential election are being challenged in the Supreme Court, urged judges Thursday not to take up the case.
The four states in which the lawsuit pertained warned in unusually harsh briefs that granting Texas’s unprecedented demand for "violence against the constitution" and "disenfranchises millions of voters."
These states – Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia – all confirmed their election results, with Democrat Joe Biden defeating President Donald Trump.
Almost simultaneously, Washington Attorney General Karl Racine filed a pleading on behalf of the District of Columbia and 22 states and territories defending the four states targeted by Texas.
This court friend was joined by California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon. Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, US Virgin Islands, and Washington.
The spate of important briefings related to the case – including Trump's own request to intervene – highlighted the dramatic and ongoing polarization in the US just weeks after one of the most controversial elections.
Pennsylvania called Ken Paxton's long-term attempt to overturn the elections of other states "legally unreasonable" and "a violation of the principles of constitutional democracy" in his letter.
"Texas is trying to void elections in four states to get results it disagrees with," Pennsylvania states.
Dana Nessel, the Michigan attorney general, in her state's statement, urged the court to immediately dismiss the Texas case.
"Otherwise this court would become the arbiter of all future national elections," wrote Nessel.
"The basis of Texas' claims rests on the allegation that Michigan violated its own electoral laws. Not true," added Nessel. "That claim was dismissed in Michigan federal and state courts, and only yesterday the Michigan Supreme Court denied a final attempt to move for review."
Christopher Carr, the Georgia attorney general, told the court that Texas was "transferring Georgia's electoral powers to the federal judiciary."
"Respect for federalism and constitutionalism prohibits this transfer of power, but this court should never reach that issue," he wrote.
The answers came a day after Trump asked the Supreme Court to let him intervene on the case. The president, who refuses to admit Biden, has hyped the Texas case as "the big ones" – but electoral law experts say there's little chance the court will allow it.
So far, the judges have not taken any action in this case. Despite Trump's frequent appeals, the court has shown unwillingness to enter into any litigation related to the presidential elections.
For example, the judges have not yet announced whether they will hear a GOP challenge to postal ballot papers received in Pennsylvania after election day. On Tuesday, they rejected an appeal from a Trump ally who attempted to reverse the findings on that state in a one-line order with no disagreement noted.
Even so, Paxton's case has raised hopes among Trump's supporters, who are desperate for a full court order to cancel Biden's planned victory. Large sections of the electorate are convinced by the president's repeated, unproven, and often debunked claims that widespread electoral fraud influenced the election of Biden.
Seventeen states where Trump won the referendum fueled those views on Wednesday when they filed a pleading with the Supreme Court in support of the Texas case.
On Thursday afternoon, 106 Republican members of Congress, led by Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., Signed their own letter in support of Paxton's lawsuit.
This letter was written by Phillip Jauregui, an attorney for the Judicial Action Group, who says on his website that he is working for the "renewal of justice" and is calling for "a third great awakening."
Trump and his electoral law team have filed dozens of lawsuits in court to invalidate election results, and state lawmakers have appointed pro-Trump voters.
Many of these cases have already been dismissed – but Trump is still pursuing legal challenges in key states, even with less than a week left before voters meet to cast their votes.