ICYMI: Editorial Boards Slam Ken Paxton and Republican AGs For Attacking Democracy

December 15, 2020

Across the country, Republicans, Democrats and other thought leaders are rightfully condemning the lawsuit filed by indicted Texas AG Ken Paxton—and supported by 18 Republican AGs and more than 100 Republican members of Congress—that sought to throw out the votes in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. On Friday night, the U.S. Supreme Court swiftly moved to dismiss the case and editorial boards across the country widely panned this lawsuit as frivolous, an attempt to subvert democracy, and put those supporting the lawsuit on notice.

In case you missed it, here is a quick recap of the coverage:

  • The Wall Street Journal editorial board called Paxton the “patron saint of lost legal causes.”
  • The conservative National Review wrote, “The Supreme Court can’t dismiss this suit fast enough.”
  • The New York Daily News put the Republicans supporting the lawsuit on notice saying those “who signed on to this radical attempt to steal an election have the gall to call themselves conservatives is the biggest scam of all.”
  • The legal outlet SCOTUSblog wrote a bold editorial entitled: ‘Don’t just deny Texas’ original action. Decimate it.’ The piece noted, “in a time that is so very deeply polarized, I cannot think of a person, group or institution other than the Supreme Court that could do better for the country right now.”

Here’s what the local Editorial Boards in those Republican leaders’ states are saying about their attempt to disenfranchise millions of voters. As a reminder, 12 of the 18 state’s that rubber stamped AG Paxton losing legal game are up in 2022. Paxton’s seat is also on the ballot in 2022.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Herald:It’s unfortunate Rutledge is so comfortable using the authority of her office for such partisan activities. Then again, as many times as she’s flown to Washington and other locales to hobnob with President Trump, who can really be shocked at her response when Trump is calling in all favors in his effort to stay in office despite losing the election?” [LINK]

[Iowa] Des Moines Register: “[Governor] Reynolds also denied Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller’s request to sign onto a brief in support of the defendants in the case, the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.” [LINK]

Kansas City Star:This isn’t a mere policy disagreement. Using taxpayer money, Schmitt and Schmidt are now pursuing a worthless case, and threatening democracy for their own political reasons and personal aggrandizementTheir actions are also misguided and dangerous.” [LINK]

[Kansas] Topeka Capital-Journal: “Whatever the case, we must not lose perspective. The attorney general of Kansas backs a lawsuit seeking to disenfranchise millions of voters in other states in hopes of overturning an election. That’s astonishing, shameful and profoundly anti-democratic.” [LINK]

[Nebraska] Lincoln Journal Star: “Flailing of this nature would be laughable if it weren’t an attempt to subvert American elections and assault democracy itself — and Nebraskans should be embarrassed that Attorney General Doug Peterson was one of 17 Republican attorneys general to sign an amicus brief supporting such a ridiculous claim…And citizens of this proud state should be incensed at and embarrassed by the actions their elected officials took.” [LINK]

[Nebraska] Omaha World-Herald: The effect of the lawsuit would have been to disenfranchise 20 million Americans who voted in those states and undercut the very core of our system of government.” [LINK]

[Nebraska] Kierney Hub: “It is hypocritical to make multiple accommodations for Nebraskans, but then condemn other states that did likewise.” [LINK]

[North Dakota] InForum: “North Dakota, thanks to Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, has disgraced itself by supporting a lawsuit that sought to reject the votes of millions of voters…Stenehjem should be ashamed at the poor judgment he’s displayed, elevating rank partisan gamesmanship over the democratic process.” [LINK]

[Oklahoma] Tulsa World: “Let’s be clear: This is not about ensuring voting integrity or voter rights. It’s about political posturing. Hunter’s decision bows to a faction of the right wing that ignores the growing legal findings of false or inflated voter fraud allegations. The country needs Republican leaders who will speak truth to power, not scramble to shield it or provide cover. We suggest Hunter re-evaluate how his office’s time is being used and concentrate on Oklahoma issues.” [LINK]

[South Carolina] Post and Courier: “Mr. Wilson is using the power of his office to try to overturn the results of a valid election and undermine public confidence in our republic, and he is dragging our state into the fray. That’s a stain on his reputation that Mr. Wilson will have to live with for the rest of his career — and a tremendous hurdle to overcome if he seeks reelection in two years.” [LINK]

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “Ashley Moody disgraced her office to placate Donald Trump in the final days of his failed presidency. Florida’s attorney general cares less about us than about satisfying Trump’s irrational demands…Her actions are appalling, an affront to democracy. She has reduced one of Florida’s most prestigious public offices to a grubby little outpost of Mar-a-Lago.” [LINK]

Tennessean: “By backing pro-Trump lawsuit, Tennessee’s Attorney General normalizes a circus” [LINK]

Times West Virginia: “Morrisey would rather do the bidding of Gov. Justice and President Trump than properly serve the people of West Virginia and simply do his job…Morrisey’s actions are a slap in the face to all of the volunteers and election workers who worked on Nov. 3 to preserve democracy. Perhaps he should get back to the business of preserving democracy himself instead of buying in to conspiracy theories and hanging on to the legacy of a failed presidency. At some point, the crazy has to stop. People are hurting more each day as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on.” [LINK]

[Utah] Deseret News: “Utah voters elected Reyes to represent them in cases concerning the state of Utah, not to use their money to tilt at windmills of partisan speculation in other states.” [LINK]

Texas Outlets:

  • Austin American-Statesman: “Paxton has embarked on his most repugnant stunt to date—one that spends taxpayer dollars to fuel division, one that uses state resources to curry political favor, one that flirts with dismantling democracy.” [LINK]
  • Beaumont Enterprise: “It’s bad enough that our current president is wasting a lot of time and money contesting the results…But the stunt pulled this week by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is even worse — and may be a pathetic attempt by him to wrangle a pardon from the president for the legal clouds hovering over him.” [LINK]
  • Dallas Morning News: “[Paxton’s] lawsuit represents a significant blow to the rule of law in our country, and therefore your suit is the actual threat to our electoral system…As the state’s attorney general, you chose to mislead the public…It is a disservice to Texans who deserve a well-run office of the attorney general and who depend on a fair administration of justice.” [LINK]
  • Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “[Abbott] and others should push Paxton to resign. His attempts to hold on to his office were already harmful enough. Now, the attorney general is discrediting the state, misleading voters and feeding dangerous conspiracies. Enough is enough.” [LINK]
  • Houston Chronicle: “History suggests that it’s futile to try to shame Paxton and Cruz into repenting their reckless and self-serving behavior, but voters must not forget what they are doing to the nation for personal and political advantage.” [LINK]
  • San Antonio Express-News: “It’s the Paxton way. Garbage in, garbage out. The lawsuit alleges widespread voter fraud but offers no evidence — because, you know, there is no evidence…But why should we expect anything more from a public servant like Paxton? No matter how low the bar, he fails to clear it.” [LINK]