South Dakota joins amicus brief supporting Texas lawsuit challenging election results

Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 2:25 PM CST

(Dakota News Now) - A new lawsuit out of Texas is challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election. And the state of South Dakota is in support, that’s according to the office of the attorney general. Dakota News Now spoke with the Dean Of the USD Knudson School of Law Wednesday to break down the lawsuit and South Dakota’s role in all of this.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing battleground states Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin whose election resulted in Joe Biden becoming president-elect. A press release from Paxton’s office alleges these states “Exploited the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Texas is claiming that these states changed the conditions of their election through other branches of the government than the legislature and the constitution requires the legislature to change the rules for an election,” said Fulton.

Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General denies this allegation.

“We’ve seen no evidence of any type of widespread voter fraud across Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said.

The lawsuit is asking that these four states’ 62 electoral college votes not be counted towards the presidential election.

“That’s really unprecedented and it’s an extreme remedy and I think the Supreme Court will proceed incredibly cautiously before they would allow one state to have the votes of another state under its own electoral terms disregarded,” said Fulton.

In a statement to Dakota News Now, the South Dakota Attorney General’s office announced South Dakota’s support towards Texas.

Timothy Bormann, Chief of Staff says quote: “Our office has received thousands of calls and emails from concerned citizens and we have listened to our constituents and voters. That is why South Dakota has, today, joined the Amicus Brief.”

Amicus briefs, also called “friend of the court” briefs, allow parties not directly involved in a lawsuit to show support in the case.

“South Dakota’s intervention is really joining in with a claim that states have a unique interest here that should be looked at. That merits supreme court review. The supreme court does not have to exercise jurisdiction over the lawsuit,” said Fulton.

The South Dakota Democratic Party has also released a statement regarding South Dakota’s participation in the lawsuit.

Randy Seiler, the Party Chair says, quote: “The facts just don’t support any widespread election fraud... This is a desperate attempt to obstruct the democratic process and the will of the people. Not only is it wrong to waste taxpayer money this way, it is wrong to erode the tenets of democracy through this frivolous lawsuit.”

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South Dakota has joined other states supporting a lawsuit brought to the Supreme Court by the state of Texas challenging presidential election results in several key swing states.

The Attorney General’s office announced Wednesday that South Dakota has joined an amicus brief in support of State of Texas v Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State of Georgia, State of Michigan, and State of Wisconsin.

President Donald Trump tweeted earlier Wednesday that his campaign will join the challenge as part of a new effort to overturn Joe Biden’s victory. Out of the roughly 50 lawsuits filed around the country contesting the Nov. 3 vote, Trump has lost more than 35 and the others are pending, according to an Associated Press tally.

A statement penned by Tim Bormann, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, said his office has received “thousands of calls and emails” from citizens concerned about the results of the election.

The suit from the Texas attorney general, Republican Ken Paxton, demands that the 62 total Electoral College votes in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin be invalidated. That’s enough, if set aside, to swing the election to Trump. The Associated Press reports Paxton repeated “a litany of false, disproven and unsupported allegations about mail-in ballots and voting” in the four states.

The Supreme Court has yet to reveal whether it will consider arguments in the Texas case. Election officials from several of the states named in the case have already spoken out against the suit, ABC News reports.

Amicus briefs, also called “friend of the court” briefs, allow parties not directly involved in a lawsuit to show support in the case. States often file amicus brief in support of cases filed in the Supreme Court. The state of Missouri filed the amicus brief in this case, which South Dakota joined, according to Bormann.

Bormann’s full statement:

“The State of South Dakota believes in free and fair elections. Our office has received thousands of calls and emails from concerned citizens and we have listened to our constituents and voters. That is why South Dakota has, today, joined the Amicus Brief of the State of Missouri in support of State of Texas v Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State of Georgia, State of Michigan, and State of Wisconsin.”

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