Mississippi’s three Republican U.S. House members have joined state Attorney General Lynn Fitch in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate the presidential election in four swing states, which would effectively throw the presidential election to Donald Trump.

Michael Guest of the 3rd District and Trent Kelly of the 1st District, both attorneys and former district attorneys, are among the 106 Republican U.S. House members who filed a motion on Thursday in support of a lawsuit seeking to throw out election results in Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. On Friday, U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, who represents the 4th District, joined the lawsuit as the number of Republican U.S. House members signing a friend of the court brief grew to 126.

The lawsuit was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is under indictment on security fraud charges and is also the subject of an additional FBI investigation related to alleged abuses of his office to help wealthy donors. The lawsuit is viewed as a longshot effort at best by most legal experts, including many Republicans.

But in a statement, Guest said: “I understand that many sacrifices and changes have been necessary to protect individuals during this pandemic. However, there is no situation, including a pandemic, that offers any elected officials a legitimate reason to disregard the Constitution of the United States or the constitutions of individual states. The bill of complaint prepared by Attorney General Paxton calls attention to many irregularities that justify review by the Supreme Court, and my colleagues and I offer this amicus brief for its consideration. If the court finds that these elected officials overstepped their constitutional duties and, therefore, tainted their states’ elections, we must focus on restoring the integrity of the electoral process that was found to be undermined.”

The Paxton lawsuit, among other issues, claims changes were made to the election process in those states without the approval of their legislatures. But many of the main changes that have been cited by Trump supporters, such as expanding early voting in Pennsylvania, were approved by that state’s Republican Legislature.

And other changes were not confined to those four states. For instance, in Texas, where the lawsuit originated, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order extending early voting to make it easier to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In joining 17 other attorneys general in supporting Abbott, Fitch said: “I have also joined my colleagues from other states to defend the fundamental principle that courts do not write election law. They interpret them. When courts seek to do otherwise, they violate the separation of powers that is critical to our democracy.”

The attorneys general from more than 20 states have filed a brief opposing the effort of Abbott and Fitch to have millions of ballots thrown out.

When asked about the lawsuit recently and Fitch’s role in the legal action, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said: “We certainly appreciate her active nature in filing a friend of the court or amicus brief.” But others disagreed.

“I wonder how Mississippi would feel if the attorney general of PA (Pennsylvania) tried to throw out their votes in a legal Mississippi election? The courts and history will have the final say about this aiding an attempted presidential coup,” state Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, posted on social media.

Even many Republicans questioned the lawsuit.

“I believe the case itself represents a dangerous violation of federalism and sets a precedent to have one state asking federal courts to police the voting procedures of other states,” said U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican.

The lawsuit maintained with no evidence that Biden had “less that one in a quadrillion” chance of winning the four states. Pre-election polls favored Biden to win all four states.


We want to hear from you!

Central to our mission at Mississippi Today is inspiring civic engagement. We think critically about how we can foster healthy dialogue between people who think differently about government and politics. We believe that conversation — raw, earnest talking and listening to better understand each other — is vital to the future of Mississippi. We encourage you to engage with us and each other on our social media accounts, email our reporters directly or leave a comment for our editor by clicking the button below.


Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Bobby Harrison, Mississippi Today’s senior capitol reporter, covers politics, government and the Mississippi State Legislature. He also writes a weekly news analysis which is co-published in newspapers statewide. A native of Laurel, Bobby joined our team June 2018 after working for the North Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo since 1984. He is president of the Mississippi Capitol Press Corps Association and works with the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute to organize press luncheons. Bobby has a bachelor's in American Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and has received multiple awards from the Mississippi Press Association, including the Bill Minor Best Investigative/In-depth Reporting and Best Commentary Column.