SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has joined 16 other states in supporting Texas' lawsuit that aims to overturn presidential election results in several swing states.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes signed on Wednesday, joining the other states in a briefing in the Supreme Court.
The Texas lawsuit filed by that state's Attorney General Ken Paxton claims "unlawful and constitutionally tainted votes" should be blocked from being cast in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all states won by President-elect Joe Biden.
Reyes, who has supported President Trump's claims of voter fraud and worked for the campaign to contest ballot counting in Nevada, believes the Supreme Court should review the constitutionality of the election process.
“If Americans are to have confidence in the integrity of the election system, it is important the Supreme Court settles the question of who determines the time and place for voting: the legislature or the courts.“ said Reyes in a statement.
Reyes claims the lawsuit isn't about one candidate, but fairness in all elections. He says the Supreme Court should say whether the election was fair, despite nearly all states having already certified their votes.
“The fundamental constitutional question we need SCOTUS to answer is who really controls the time, place, and manner of elections in individual states? Is it the legislature, as it appears the Constitution commands? Or can that power be delegated or usurped in certain circumstances? The answer affects not only this election but potentially every future election.”
Gov. Gary Herbert and Gov.-elect Spencer J. Cox do not support Reyes' actions and issued a joint statement.
“The Attorney General did not consult us before signing on to this brief, so we don’t know what his motivation is. Just as we would not want other states challenging Utah’s election results, we do not think we should intervene in other states’ elections. Candidates who wish to challenge election results have access to the courts without our involvement. This is an unwise use of taxpayers’ money.”
Mayor Jenny Wilson also voiced her opinion on Reyes' actions.
“I am disheartened to see that Attorney General Sean Reyes continues to politicize an election that has now been decided for weeks. Right now is an opportunity for us to work together, across party lines to address issues of real concern. Our health systems are in crisis, so many lives have been lost, and our community is shaken. The last thing we need is more gamesmanship and manipulation from elected officials using public resources to perpetuate partisan schemes. We have all had enough.”
Other opponents of Reyes say the attorney general's move is a partisan effort to overturn the election results that didn't fall the way of his party.
“The basis of American democracy is that the people pick their leaders, leaders do not pick their voters. Sean Reyes’ continued effort to delegitimize a democratic election — one the federal government has deemed the ‘most secure in American history’ — by throwing out people’s votes is beyond the pale for a state attorney general." said Chase Thomas, executive director for Alliance for a Better Utah. "Escalating this partisan warfare to the Supreme Court can only be regarded as one final desperate Hail Mary in an attempt to maintain party control at the expense of the people. Sean Reyes’ partisan backflips continue to show that he is unfit to be Utah’s chief law enforcement officer. Utah leaders from all political parties should condemn his actions on behalf of our state.”