The ill-fated lawsuit to overturn the presidential election served one useful purpose before the U.S. Supreme Court rightly tossed it aside Friday. It revealed that many high-level elected American officials were willing to help President Donald Trump cling to power even at the expense of rejecting millions of votes cast in four states.
Across the country, 126 members of Congress and 17 state attorneys general signed briefs supporting the Texas Attorney General’s dubious allegations of improper elections procedures in battleground states. Although the Supreme Court unceremoniously disposed of the lawsuit, the fact it found so many supporters in power shows that partisanship has fed a disturbing anti-democratic rot.
Disappointingly, two members of Washington’s congressional delegation, Republican Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse, signed onto this odious attack on elections. Both would have been better served to follow the example of fellow Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who declined to challenge other states’ elections.
Through their poor decisions, McMorris Rodgers and Newhouse helped attack the other states for election practices Washington has proudly pioneered. The legal brief condemned Wisconsin’s ballot drop boxes as “unsecured,” and alleged Pennsylvania and Michigan overstepped their authority by increasing ballot returns through the mail. Washington’s federal officials, elected through such measures, should be championing mail voting to other states across the country, not joining efforts to undermine it in the name of partisan hardball.
The friend-of-the-court brief that Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers joined disingenuously claimed to support “confidence of our people in the legitimacy of our institutions of government.” But by attempting to upend an election already certified in every state, it aimed for the opposite effect. Even though this anti-democratic attack failed, voters should hold Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers accountable for taking part.