Attorney General is not a Legal Job

Ideas and Issues
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December 10, 2020

MSNBC

New Orleans      Just in case there are small children, hermits in caves, and others in America outside the borders of normal communication and news channels, it is important to understand that being a state attorney general is not really a legal job, though most all of them claim to be lawyers. It’s a political job, pure and simple. Proof is abundantly available in what legal observers are calling a “Hail Mary” direct appeal by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and supported by seventeen other attorneys general, out of the twenty-five Republican AGs nationally, in a friend of the court, amicus, brief to the US Supreme Court asking them to block Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all battleground states, from casting their electoral votes for Joe Biden despite the fact that he won the vote in their states.

Paxton is notorious for many things in Texas, including current ethical and other investigations, but none of them center on his legal prowess. His argument in this request that the Supreme Court take “original jurisdiction” in this case, meaning that it hasn’t be litigated at any lower court level, is that the four states took advantage of the pandemic to boost voting by mail ballots.         This rewarmed effort to pretend that mail ballots are somehow faulty in these four states, as opposed to the vast majority of states that encouraged mail balloting, is already an offense against logic and basic rationality, but it gets worse. The Paxton beef about mail ballots is that somehow security measures were weakened in “protecting the integrity of the vote-signature verification and witness requirements.”

In plain language, Paxton and these other Republican attorneys general are complaining that their voter suppression efforts were circumvented by mail ballots. Being a mail balloter myself in Louisiana, I can attest that they already require me to write my signature, know my mother’s maiden name, and have a witness sign and date my ballot before I can mail it in. These are common requirements in suppression states. Are we to believe that somehow the election was subverted by mail ballots where some vast conspiracy was able to duplicate all of those steps to change a vote?

Note, that there is no “just the facts, ma’am,” allegation that there was any voter fraud, just a whine about the injustice of a pandemic and states trying to protect their citizens by allowing mail ballots. This is not a legal argument. Be perfectly clear that this is nothing more than purely political. This is a press release written in the form of a lawsuit, as a last love letter and an apology by voter-scared AGs to President Trump. Louisiana’s hyper-political AG Jeff Landry’s office had even bought $2300 red MAGA hats and $5000 worth of Trump, Jr’s books.         This is sycophancy before the altar of the Supremes.

Georgia’s own AG was one of two battleground Republican AGs who didn’t sign on to this publicity stunt, saying according to the Dallas Morning News that the Texas challenge “is constitutionally, legally, and factually wrong about Georgia.”

This will be the story for Trump and his AGs, “in like lions, out like lambs.”