SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — North Dakota and South Dakota are adding their voice in support of a lawsuit before the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the Nov. 3 election results in a number of fellow states, the states' attorneys general confirmed Wednesday, Dec. 9.
The attorney general of Texas filed a suit to the high court Tuesday, disputing the election results in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin, all of which have certified that voters in their states picked former Vice President Joe Biden to replace President Donald Trump.
The Dakotas join Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia, in the friend of the court brief filed by the state of Missouri in Texas v. Pennsylvania. All of the states have Republican attorneys general.
"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," said the early afternoon email from Tim Bormann, chief of staff to South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.
“Only the U.S. Supreme Court can ultimately decide cases of controversy among the states under our Constitution. That is why we have joined the state of Missouri and other states asking the Justices to hear and decide the case recently filed by Texas. We have asked the Court to consider the merits of Texas’ case before the Electoral College meets on Monday,” said North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem in a statement.
In a follow-up interview with Forum News Service, Stenehjem added that he decided to sign onto the lawsuit after his office fielded "thousands" of calls backing the Texas case over the last day. The attorney general said that he was unaware of the case until Texas filed it on Tuesday. The decision to get on board was his own, and Gov. Doug Burgum was not involved, Stenehjem said.
And while Stenehjem acknowledged the long odds of Texas' argument, he said his office was careful to make sure that they did not take a stand one way or another on the allegations of election fraud in their brief.
"The Supreme Court should look at the allegations, determine if there's any merit to them," Stenehjem said. "And if not, they should dismiss the petition and finalize the matter once and for all."
The case, which is considered a longshot by most legal analysts, is based on Texas' claims the four battleground states "exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes" that effectively skewed the election.
“Their failure to abide by the rule of law casts a dark shadow of doubt over the outcome of the entire election. We now ask that the Supreme Court step in to correct this egregious error," said Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, in a Tuesday statement.
The lawsuit asks the Supreme Court to remand the election results to the four states' legislatures to appoint electors who could then potentially vote to re-elect Trump over the will of their own voters. Trump said on Twitter earlier Wednesday he would also join the Texas lawsuit.
Paxton's lawsuit was met with scorn by the states whose vote results he's challenging. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel dismissed the suit, calling it a publicity stunt.
"The erosion of confidence in our democratic system isn’t attributable to the good people of Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia or Pennsylvania but rather to partisan officials, like Mr. Paxton, who place loyalty to a person over loyalty to their country," Nessel said.
Forum News Service reporters Jeremy Turley and Adam Willis contributed to this report.