Elected officials from Washington and Idaho have joined both sides of the U.S. Supreme Court battle over the 2020 presidential election results.
U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse, whose eastern Washington districts include parts of Walla Walla County, are among Republicans joining the fray to dispute the validity of votes in several key states.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the state was joining a "friend of the court" request to join on the side of the four states that are defending the results showing that Democrat Joe Biden won and is entitled to their Electoral College votes.
Ferguson called the lawsuit, initially filed by his Texas counterpart Ken Paxton and joined by 17 other Republican state attorneys general, an attack on democracy.
“This lawsuit has no legal or factual basis,” he said Thursday. “It will not succeed in overturning the will of the voters.”
Washington is among 22 states or territories and the District of Columbia opposing the Texas suit against results in four states: Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin.
McMorris Rodgers was among 106 Republican House members who filed a similar request to join GOP state attorneys general.
Also signing on the House Republican “friend of the court” request were Dan Newhouse of Washington, along with Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson of Idaho.
The group said they have “concerns as members of Congress, shared by untold millions of their constituents, that the unconstitutional irregularities involved in the 2020 presidential election cast doubt upon its outcome and the integrity of the American system of elections.”
Their request said states’ electors should be chosen “by counting only lawful votes” but added they wanted to protect state legislatures’ role in deciding how their electors are chosen.
McMorris Rodgers could not be immediately reached for a comment about joining other House members’ effort to intervene in the case. In the past she has consistently defended President Donald Trump’s right to challenge the election results.
“Cathy believes that every legal vote should be counted and that President Trump has every right to seek legal recourse in response to allegations of voter fraud and impropriety,” spokesman Jared Powell said in a statement late last month. “She believes integrity and transparency in the election process is foundational to American democracy.”
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, a Republican, said Thursday that state will not join Texas in challenging the vote counts in the four states, which he viewed as an attack on state sovereignty.
“Idaho is a sovereign state and should be free to govern itself without interference from any other state,” Wasden said in a statement reported by the Associated Press. “Likewise, Idaho should respect the sovereignty of its sister states.”
But the Idaho Republican Party is supporting the lawsuit and Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin is among GOP elected officials from several states asking to join the challenge, claiming “unconstitutional actions, fraud, and other irregularities” by the four states where relatively close vote totals show Biden winning.
The Texas lawsuit repeats baseless claims that have been rejected by other courts and not verified by elections officials – in some cases Republican, in others Democrats – in those states.
The U.S. Supreme Court has not yet scheduled a hearing on the challenge to the four states’ results. which combined have enough electoral votes, 62, to change the apparent outcome of the election.
The Electoral College meets Monday to cast electoral votes for president that currently would give Biden 306 votes and the presidency on January 20.