A frivolous lawsuit between states

On December 7th, 2020, Ken Paxton, Attorney General for Texas, filed the following lawsuit with the Supreme Court:


Here we have one state suing four other states, trying to overthrow the results of a national election held by the rules of the individual states, in accordance with the constitution:

While the United States Constitution does set parameters for the election of federal officials, state law, not federal, regulates most aspects of elections in the U.S., including primaries, the eligibility of voters (beyond the basic constitutional definition), the running of each state’s electoral college, as well as the running of state and local elections. All elections—federal, state, and local—are administered by the individual states.


The lawsuit was so bad, so totally lacking in merit, that the Supreme Court threw it out with barely a glance. The Supreme Court said that Texas lacked standing to bring the lawsuit in the first place. The lawsuit basically said that the four states in question held the election their way (as opposed to Texas’s, voter suppressive way) in regards to collecting ballots for the presidential election. Exactly what makes Texas’s way right, and the ways of the four states named as defendants wrong? Why…those four states got the wrong result! The votes should have been overwhelmingly for Trump! Or so Ken Paxton would have us all believe. Through the courts, he tried to overthrow the electoral process of four other states. Note that the challenges Paxton made to the voting procedures of the four states could just have easily been made against Texas, for in truth, all states were challenged by the rampant, COVID-19 pandemic.

Exactly 50 years ago [as of 2016], the Supreme Court ducked the question whether the “winner take all” system for allocating electors violates the Equal Protection Clause. This was the last time the Supreme Court was faced with the decision to hear a lawsuit between states based on electoral procedures. The message is clear. There are federal guidelines for conducting elections, but they are minimal. Beyond that, it is up to each state to decide how it runs its elections. “Allowing Texas to bring a suit like this would inevitably open the floodgates — to California suing Texas over its environmental regulations; to New York suing Florida over its Covid-19 response; and so on,” wrote Steve Vladeck, professor at the University of Texas School of Law, in this article. The lawsuit was doomed from the start.

The people have spoken, and they have resoundingly stated they are tired of Trump, tired of a pandemic that has killed more than 320,000 Americans (1 out of every 1000) at last count (i.e. like enduring 9/11 once every 3 days for 10 months!,), and no doubt tired of a host of other things Trumpian.

And now you are asking, “What does this have to do with us?” As a group, we West Virginians voted for the incumbent, and there was never any doubt that we would. And thus we are not named in the above lawsuit. But… Alex Mooney, representing District 2 in the House of Representatives, and Patrick Morrisey, WV’s attorney general, both signed on to this atrocious lawsuit! The lawsuit, and the elected officials that backed it, wanted to throw out some 20 million votes so that they could keep their man in power. Neither acted in the best interests of West Virginians, no matter who each person voted for. Officials are elected to serve the people. These two elected officials did not. They helped themselves to notoriety without a thought at all for the people of WV.

Let us be clear: the only thing Trump cares about is Trump. He does not care about WV (note that his promise of a coal revival, thankfully, never took place)! He does not care about this country as a whole! When COVID-19 came to our shores, he was more interested in saving his own face with lies about how the whole thing was going to go away on its own, than on admitting he didn’t have the answer to how to deal with the virus. That it might be necessary to look to other countries, or (shudder) the W.H.O (World Health Organization) for guidance on how to handle this new threat. And he has been completely MIA since the election. No leadership whatsoever coming from the White House. He is more interested in crying election fowl, although we have yet to see anything but human mistakes in vote processing, and nothing of the scale that would be required to manufacture over 7 million(!) votes for Joe Biden.

Now that the electoral college has voted, there is but one remaining avenue for these elected officials to try to get their preferred outcome: reject the electoral college result in congress on January 6th, 2021. Who among us has ever before been so involved in politics that we actually know the date that the electoral college votes, and the date congress accepts that tally? To say this moment is unprecedented is to flog not just a dead horse, but one that has been decomposing for many months, now. This moment, quite literally, stinks!! This is insanity to the nth degree, and by remaining silent, indeed apparently voting for it (as we West Virginians put both Alex Mooney and Patrick Morrisey back in office on the strength of their allegiance to Trump, and NOT much more), we are supporting a government no longer constrained by the rules of Democracy. People! This has GOT TO STOP! HERE!! NOW!!!

There are two things that need to happen:

  • Alex Mooney should NOT be seated for the next congressional session. He has spoken against the will of the people of this country, and he is therefore no longer serving we the people, but rather only himself.
  • We need to either abolish, or render null and void the electoral college. (We can render it null and void by signing on to the National Interstate Popular Vote Compact.)

The latter point speaks to the fact that West Virginians actually had no voice in the election of the President, at least none that anyone cared about. This state votes reliably red. Ergo, on a national level, our votes were essentially not courted. Trump visited WV just once this past year, and Biden didn’t visit at all. In contrast, Trump visited Pennsylvania 14 times in 2020, and Biden visited 17 times! You can bet that voices of Pennsylvanians were heard by the presidential candidates. Abolishing the electoral college requires a constitutional amendment, and it’s likely impossible. But we, as a state, could fairly easily sign on to the compact, thus giving individual citizens a much greater voice in the election of the President.

Mind you, neither of these points should be viewed as partisan issues. Alex Mooney and Patrick Morrisey are not acting in WV’s best interests. Period. And as long as WV is not a ‘swing state’, the voters here will continually be ignored at the national level. If we West Virginians want to revive this state, we need to start now by getting rid of politicians who are more interested in power and notoriety, than on helping their state move into the 21st century. And by advocating for electoral college changes that will ensure the voice of every West Virginian matters when it comes time to vote for the next president.

To make these things happen, you can:

  • Write letters to the editor of the Hampshire Review, the Charleston Gazette, and/or the Washington Post
  • Write to Nancy Pelosi requesting that Alex Mooney not be seated.
  • Write to the state Democratic Headquarters and/or the state Republican Headquarters.
  • Start following issues that interest you at local, state and national levels, and speak out when you feel moved (that is, become an informed voter).
  • Start a conversation on your facebook page.
  • Write to your representatives at both the national and state levels:

If you need any more proof that Alex Mooney and Patrick Morrisey signed on to a frivolous lawsuit, consider this: if Democrats had been able to pull off the massive voter fraud this lawsuit alleges, why didn’t they secure the Senate while they were at it? Given the polls, having the Senate ever-so-slightly tilt left would have been well within the realm of possibility. And yet, here we are, waiting with baited breath for the results of the Georgia runoff. If that runoff goes the “wrong” way, will it be challenged, too? Hm….? Would any of us appreciate such challenges if WV, by some miracle, became a swing state?

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