The eyes of the nation are on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and everyone is wondering will SCOTUS hear the Texas case and grant Texas standing. For those that do not know, “standing” essentially means are you a harmed party and therefore can you bring a suit against someone.
The question is, does Texas have standing to bring a case against Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin? Just like most things that concern the law, there is so no clear answer and therefore we rely on past cases to help guide us. This is called Stare Decisis or otherwise known as Precedent.
Stare decisis is not straightforward though. Different justices have different judicial philosophies. Take, for instance, Chief Justice John Roberts. In 2016 a Texas abortion law regulating abortion procedures and practices was ruled unconstitutional. Roberts dissented and stating that the Texas law was constitutional.
Fast forward to 2020, an almost exact duplicate law in Louisiana made its way to the Supreme Court and Roberts flips. His reasoning was stare decisis.
Justice Thomas, for instance, doesn’t hold to stare decisis when it comes to Constitutional questions. If he thought Texas’ law was Constitutional he would continue to think it was and vote in the same matter regardless of a prior decision.
Therefore, getting back to the question at hand. Does Texas have standing? The answer is yes and no, and it is anyone’s guess what the Court will decide. Those that say Texas has no standing need to realize that there are cases that have established precedent for Texas to have standing. Take Massachusetts v. EPA.
Massachusetts sued the federal government (EPA) for denial of their rulemaking petition in connection to the regulation of greenhouse gases. The synopsis of the rule of law is that in order to have standing to sue in a federal court the petitioner must have; injury in fact, causation, and redressability in the claim, these elements are easier to meet if you are a State rather than an individual.
In this case, SCOTUS granted standing to Massachusetts. The Court first held that Massachusetts had standing to seek review of EPA’s denial of the rulemaking petition in light of the harms global warming could cause that State, including submersion of State-owned property on the coast due to increase in ocean levels.
In the Elections Clause of the Constitution, state legislatures “shall” which mandates they set up election laws for federal elections. If the power is vested in state legislatures then a Governor, the Secretary of State, and so forth, may not change laws by edict or fiat.
Since these states violated the Constitution by conducting an illegal election, it has caused harm to Texas by diluting their vote in the electoral college. Thus, Texas has also made a Fourteenth Amendment claim of Equal Protection.
Therefore, under the precedent set up by Massachusetts v EPA, Texas may have legal standing to bring this case. By these states not upholding their laws like the federal government in the EPA case. Texas has been injured in fact, causation, and have brought redressability in their claim.
This does not mean that SCOTUS will accept this case or Texas will succeed even if it is heard. I’m just showing you that there is case history that could grant Texas standing.
We shall see what SCOTUS decides.
COVID-19 may take down an independent news outlet
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Colleagues have called me the worst fundraiser ever. My skills are squarely rooted on the journalistic side of running a news outlet. Paying the bills has never been my forte, but we’ve survived. We have ads on the site that help, but since the site’s inception this has been a labor of love that otherwise doesn’t bring in the level of revenue necessary to justify it.
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