Gov. Reynolds supports 16-state effort to invalidate millions of votes, but wasn’t asked to join it (Updated)

Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

In her latest demonstration of loyalty to Donald Trump, Gov. Kim Reynolds said she supports a lawsuit to throw out millions of votes cast by the citizens of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which would clear the way for the Republican-led legislatures in those states to appoint Electoral College members who would then vote for Trump instead of Joe Biden, certified as the winner of the election by each of those states.

Reynolds said during a Thursday morning interview on WHO radio, the reason Iowa didn’t join 16 other states — all led by Republicans — in an amicus brief supporting the lawsuit Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed with the U.S. Supreme Court is because it wasn’t asked to.

“For the simple fact that [Iowa Attorney General] Tom Miller is a Democrat, Iowa was not notified or asked to be a part of that brief,” Reynolds said. “We weren’t given the opportunity to sign on in support of that.”

In a statement issued by her political campaign organization on Thursday afternoon, Reynolds made it clear she would have had the state support Texas in the lawsuit.

“While not given the opportunity, I would have requested that Iowa officially join in support of the lawsuit filed by the Texas attorney general,” Reynolds said in the statement. “As I have said all along, President Trump, his campaign, and supporters have every right to pursue lawful, legal actions in the courts. The American people deserve a fair and transparent election.”

Gov. Kim Reynolds speaking at the Trump campaign rally in Des Moines on Oct. 14, 2020. — Anjali Huynh/Little Village

The Texas filing relies on evidence and arguments that have been repeatedly rejected by state and federal courts as fraudulent and/or irrelevant. Texas is not asking the Supreme Court to consider an appeal of any of 57 legal challenges to Biden’s victory that state and federal courts have already rejected, but is instead asking the Supreme Court to consider on its own the previously rejected evidence and theories without reference to those earlier cases.

Trump has petitioned the Supreme Court to be allowed to join Texas as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, as part of his multiple efforts to overturn the results of November’s election and remain president.

The normally restrained Rick Hasen, who is considered one of the nation’s leading experts on election law, was unusually blunt in his assessment of the Texas lawsuit.

My view in brief: this is a press release masquerading as a lawsuit. Texas doesn’t have standing to raise these claims as it has no say over how other states choose electors; it could raise these issues in other cases and does not need to go straight to the Supreme Court; it waited too late to sue; the remedy Texas suggests of disenfranchising tens of millions of voters after the fact is unconstitutional; there’s no reason to believe the voting conducted in any of the states was done unconstitutionally; it’s too late for the Supreme Court to grant a remedy even if the claims were meritorious (they are not).

What utter garbage. Dangerous garbage, but garbage.

According to Reynolds, she has taken steps to make sure Iowa will have the opportunity to join future lawsuits like this by making her office’s legal counsel, Michael Boal, the primary contact for such legal actions.

“If this is something that comes up again, they’ll be sure to notify Iowa and give us an opportunity to weigh in on it,” Reynolds said on WHO.

It’s unlikely that will happen, since the Electoral College is set to meet on Monday and officially declare Biden the winner of the presidential election.

Attorney General Miller issued a statement on Thursday, following the governor’s radio interview, saying, “I cannot support a lawsuit that seeks to invalidate the votes of millions of Americans.”

Miller explained he “would not have joined an amicus brief in support of this lawsuit because the 2020 elections were fairly and safely conducted by election officials of both parties.”

Miller, the longest-serving state attorney general in the country, added, “Today my office was asked by another group of states to join an amicus brief supporting the defendants — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia — in the U.S. Supreme Court. “

The attorney general said he supported the arguments in that brief and would have joined it, but was stopped from doing so by Reynolds.

“In regard to amicus briefs of this type, I am required to get the approval of Gov. Reynolds,” Miller said. “We have sought her approval and she has declined.”

A sign sits outside of the State Hygienic Laboratory in Coralville, a polling place during the Iowa primary election, June 2, 2020. — Emma McClatchey/Little Village

Although the state did not join amicus briefs on either side of this case, one Iowan did.

In one of his last official acts as a member of the House of Representatives, Steve King joined 105 other Republican members of Congress in asking the Supreme Court to void the votes for president in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Update: Early Friday evening, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the Texas case.

“Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot,” the court said in an unsigned order.

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