Update 2:50 p.m.: The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an effort led by Texas to toss out election results in four key states. The court denied the motion to file the complaint for "lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution. Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the matter in which another state conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot."
The vote was 7-2. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito disagreed with the decision not to let Texas file the bill of complaint, with Thomas saying he would "grant the motion to file the bill of complaint, but would not grant other relief, and I express no view on any other issue."
This story will be updated.
The Alaska Department of Law announced late Thursday evening that it submitted a letter to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a lawsuit out of Texas that some Republicans hope will reverse the results of the presidential election.
“Alaska submitted a letter to the United States Supreme Court that adds Alaska to the list of amici states supporting Texas in its lawsuit against Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin,” read a statement on the Alaska Department of Law website.
“Amicus briefs, also known as ‘friend of the court’ briefs, allow parties not directly involved in a lawsuit to show support in a case before the court. The request follows 19 other states that have supported Texas in its effort to safeguard the integrity of the election and ensure the election was fair and honest. The state expects the Supreme Court to act quickly to decide this matter.”
Multiple claims of widespread voter fraud by President Donald Trump and his supporters have been found by multiple court judges in multiple states as without merit and this latest challenge of the results of the presidential election has been blasted by critics for its audaciousness.
If the U.S. Supreme Court hears the case and agrees with the state of Texas, the lawsuit opens the door for states to contest other state’s elections.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski told The Washington Post today that she is disappointed by the efforts of her fellow Republicans to reverse the results of the presidential election.
“In fairness, I am really surprised and disappointed that … there would be an effort by members, effort by states that are not even impacted in the sense of the challenges, that there would be this effort following all of the court rulings that have set aside or disposed of any questions with regard to voting irregularity,” she said.
The lawsuit was filed by the attorney general of Texas, a Trump ally, and alleges that changes made to voting procedures in the four states that swung to President-elect Joe Biden were improper. The states took steps to expand mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
Alaska also saw a last-minute election rule change due to the pandemic. The witness signature on absentee ballots was deemed too burdensome and dropped by a decision of the Alaska Supreme Court. Trump won Alaska by 36,173 votes.
“We have no business getting involved in another state’s election. Period,” Rep. Adam Wool, D-Fairbanks, wrote in a text message.
Sen. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, called the lawsuit a distraction from pressing state issues.
“Alaska faces a $2 billion budget deficit, cuts to public safety, education and the PFD, not to mention a raging COVID-19 virus that is hurting families and every sector of our economy. It is going to take laser focus and competence just to get through this year. This doesn’t help,” the senator said in an emailed statement.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy had previously held back from getting involved in the case so officials could study its merits. Multiple Republican state legislators pressed Dunleavy to join the lawsuit saying election irregularities call Biden’s win into question.
North Pole Rep. Mike Prax, Kenai Peninsula Representatives Ben Carpenter, Sarah Vance and Rep.-elect Ron Gillham and Matanuska-Susitna Borough Representatives George Rauscher and Colleen Sullivan-Leonard signed letters asking the governor to join the lawsuit.
In a post on Facebook late Thursday, Dunleavy said he is cautious about getting involved in other states’ “inner workings” but “many important questions” need to be answered to “give the American people confidence that their vote counts.”
Prax said the lawsuit touches on an important issue because the power to set election rules is vested with state legislatures under the U.S. Constitution. Alaska is better off under a Trump presidency, he added.
Trump has not accepted defeat and tweeted on Friday: “Now that the Biden Administration will be a scandal plagued mess for years to come, it is much easier for the Supreme Court of the United States to follow the Constitution and do what everybody knows has to be done. They must show great Courage and Wisdom. Save the USA!!!”
Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.