WASHINGTON, D.C. – The mystery of how the Supreme Court of the United States would interpret the constitutional grievance regarding the election brought by Texas, 18 other states, over 100 members of congress and the President of the United States will forever remain. The high court, vested with the constitutional duty of adjudicating legal conflicts between the states, announced it would not hear the case at all.
The order was concise (emphasis added):
ORDER IN PENDING CASE
155, ORIG. TEXAS V. PENNSYLVANIA, ET AL.
The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of
complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of
the Constitution. Texas has not demonstrated a judicially
cognizable interest in the manner in which another State
conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed
Statement of Justice Alito, with whom Justice Thomas joins:
In my view, we do not have discretion to deny the filing of a
bill of complaint in a case that falls within our original
jurisdiction. See Arizona v. California, 589 U. S. ___
(Feb. 24, 2020) (Thomas, J., dissenting). I would therefore
grant the motion to file the bill of complaint but would not
grant other relief, and I express no view on any other issue.
The order means, for all intents and purposes, the election challenges have reached their conclusion. While it does nothing to erase the unconstitutional rule changes, statistical irregularities, outright fraud, and possible cyber manipulation, it nonetheless serves to force the public opinion cycle into the next chapter while also sliding into the 12 days of Christmas.
Apart from the electoral and political implications of the court’s decision — which are either massive (assuming SCOTUS would have overturned election) or merely ameliorative (Not enough to overturn after an earnest consideration) — is what this decision means for our constitutional system.
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If states don’t have standing to bring their grievances to the Supreme Court for such profound conflicts and aberrations, where do they go? Justices Alito and Thomas may allude to this in their clarifying statement; saying, essentially, the court should have to hear such a complaint.
Texas GOP Chairman Allen West spoke to this, as well, in addressing the Supreme Court’s failure to take up the pivotal constitutional case:
Of course, the media jumped on the allusion to secession. West noted in later commentary that the hypothetical Union of states that followed the Constitution would not be the ones who will have seceded; that distinction would be reserved for those states who’ve abandoned loyalty to that founding document.
Even so, tens of millions of Trump voters are now left with the feeling that, not only were they cheated out of an election, but also that no one would even hear their complaints. It’s like adding salt to a wound that won’t heal.
And the hyperbole and spin of secession talk notwithstanding, the fractures these issues, and others, are causing in this country are very real.
At the very least, this will serve to supercharge a sense of righteous indignation among much of the MAGA universe. Perhaps overlooked in all of this is the potency of Trump/Trump voters in the unleashed as opposition with an even bigger chip on their shoulder. All looking toward 2024.
In the meantime, the court’s decision means the states can proceed with electors casting their votes, which North Carolina does today.
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