Florida State Attorney Ashley Moody joined 16 other state attorneys general on Wednesday in a brief urging the Supreme Court to consider a Texas lawsuit against four 2020 presidential battleground states. The lawsuit, or Bill of Complaint, charges that those states acted unlawfully by changing their election laws.
Moody posted late on Tuesday, “The integrity and resolution of the 2020 election is of paramount importance. The United States Supreme Court should weigh the legal arguments of the Texas motion and all pending matters so that Americans can be assured the election was fairly reviewed and decided.”
Moody’s decision to support the brief drew sharp and quick criticism from Democrat lawmakers and media alike, and, so far, little public support from Florida Republicans.
The exception is state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis who backed Trump’s and Moody’s efforts in an interview Wednesday with The News Service of Florida.
“I think President Trump has every right to exploit any option that he wants to verify the validity of this race,” said Patronis. “ I think the citizens of the state of Florida deserve it. I think the citizens of America deserve it.”
Politico said that Republicans, particularly Moody, “remain in denial over Biden victory,” that she pledged to keep politics out of her office yet, “someone in Moody’s orbit apparently convinced her this was a good idea.”
Gwen Graham, who failed to gain the 2018 Democratic nomination for Florida governor, despite her pedigree, tweeted, “Oh, @AshelyMoody, this is so beneath you. This will haunt you for the rest of your career.”
Nikki Fried, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and the lone Democrat in the Florida cabinet, said in her tweet, “This is embarrassing to the integrity of our democracy and resolution of this election. It’s disappointing, but predictable, that Florida’s Attorney General isn’t acting in the interest of the people she was elected to serve, but in self-interest.
“Shameful that FL AG Moody joined this brief. Voters in every state deserve to have their ballots counted,” said U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, FL-22.
But is she really calling for citizens’ ballots to not be counted or is she just calling for a review to determine that only legal ballots were counted?
According to the brief, Florida joined Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia for three important reasons.
The first is to determine that changes in election procedures were done correctly. It is supposed to the role of the state legislators to change election law. The suit alleges this was not the case. The brief asked the Supreme Court to determine if proper procedures were followed.
According to the brief, “The States have a strong interest in preserving the proper roles of state legislatures in the administration of federal elections, and thus safeguarding the individual liberty of their citizens.”
Second, according to the brief, the states asking the Surpreme Court to look into the lawsuit, “have a strong interest in ensuring that the votes of their own citizens are not diluted by the unconstitutional administration of elections in other states.
When non-legislative actors in other States encroach on the authority of the ‘Legislature thereof’ in that State to administer a Presidential election, they threaten the liberty, not just of their own citizens, but of every citizen of the United States who casts a lawful ballot in that Election.”
The participating states third stated reason was they “have a strong interest in safeguarding against fraud in voting by mail during Presidential elections.” The brief said that every voter has a constitutional right to have his vote in a federal election fairly counted, without it being “distorted by fraudulently cast votes.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed suit on Tuesday asking the Supreme Court to scrap Biden’s wins in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and delay the appointment of presidential electors in those states so allegations of fraud can be investigated.
The suit is the latest effort to overturn the election result before the Electoral College meets Dec. 14 to formally elect the next president.