Donald Trump is still appealing to legislators and the Supreme Court to overturn the results of the election, but despite its conservative majority, the court has dismissed Trump’s bid to reverse the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania. The decision was issued unanimously by all nine justices, including those appointed by Trump. Between state and federal courts, The Donald has lost more than 40 times, so far.
This fact doesn’t seem to affect the Republican Party, however. Republican allies continue to support Trump’s actions. On Tuesday, GOP members of Congress rejected a resolution naming Biden as president-elect. When asked why, the president of the Senate Rules Committee, Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, stated that he did not want to “get ahead of the electoral process and decide who we are inaugurating.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has gone even further and filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court to contest the results of the presidential election in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Michigan. He claims that all four states used the pandemic to illegally modify voting procedures in order to increase the number of postal votes.
Texas has asked the high court to declare the results unconstitutional, and to delay the Electoral College’s Dec. 14 deadline for voter certification that will establish Biden as president.*
The attorneys general for Louisiana and Alabama immediately came out in support of Paxton’s lawsuit.
“It looks like we have a new leader in the ‘craziest lawsuit filed to purportedly challenge the election’ category,” tweeted Stephen Vladeck, professor of law at the University of Texas. “(Spoiler alert: The Court is never* going to hear this one.)”
According to legal experts, Texas would not only have waited too long to file the suit, but would also have no say in how other states choose to vote.
Meanwhile, Biden is proceeding with forming his administration, and has formally presented his candidate for secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin. This occurred after several Democrats said they were hesitant to grant Austin a waiver to run the Pentagon, something which is necessary because Austin has only been retired for four years; in order to serve as defense secretary, it is necessary to have been retired for at least seven years.
There are no doubts about Austin’s military credentials. After beginning his Army career in 1975 as a second lieutenant, he became a four-star general; in 2013, he was named head of United States Central Command, the military organization that oversees operations in the Middle East.
It was in this role that he gained notoriety as an “invisible general,” avoiding the spotlight while leading the fight against Islamic State.
When he did attract attention, it was for the wrong reasons. In September 2015, Austin told the Senate Armed Services Committee that only “four or five” of the 54 U.S.-trained rebels in Syria were still in the field fighting the terrorist group.
By this point, $42 million of the $500 million had already been spent on the training program intended to overthrow the government in Damascus without showing any positive results.
Additionally, Austin is a member of the executive board at Raytheon Technologies, a major U.S. defense contractor, a position that will surely displease left-wing progressives concerned that the United States government and arms manufacturers are becoming indistinguishable.
*Editor’s note: On Dec. 11, the Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit by Texas that asked the court to throw out the election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.