What I Learned From “Birther” Lawsuits To Correctly Predict The Outcome of Texas v. PA
In August, 2008, they started pouring-in. The “they” were “birther” cases arguing that Barack Obama was disqualified from being President of the United States on the allegation that he is not a “natural born” United States Citizen. As late as November 2010, the SCOTUS was still dismissing such cases. If anyone is interested in the majority of cases, there is a good list on Wikipedia.
The other day, Twitter was buzzing about the Attorney General for the State of Texas petitioning the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn election results in four states. In response to one such tweet, I tweeted the following;
Trump culture has made things unpredictable. After the death of Justice RBG, Trump’s brazenness to quickly appoint a Justice to the Supreme Court on the basis that he needed nine Justices to decide election controversies, made many voters nervous. I hoped that judges and Justices would adhere to the basic requirements before they hear a case.
Regardless of their arguments, Plaintiffs have to meet a requirement in order for any court to hear their claims. That requirement is “standing”.
In one of the “birther” cases, Judge R. Barclay Surrick of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of PA wrote:
“In sum, we agree with the District Court that Berg lacks standing to bring this suit because he has suffered no injury particularized to him. A prerequisite of standing is that the litigant has suffered or will suffer an injury in fact that is caused by the complained-of conduct by a defendant and that can be redressed by the court. Taliaferro, 458 F.3d at 188. “
In his opinion, Judge Surrick also wrote that a voter fails to present an injury in fact when the alleged harm is only derivative of a harm experienced by a candidate.
When hearing that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wanted SCOTUS to nullify 10.4 million votes in four states, I was curious of Texas’ standing. When I heard Paxton on Fox News say “honor the constitution”, I wondered how he disregarded Article III.
SCOTUS denied Texas’ motion to fill a bill of complaint, and dismissed all related, pending motions.
“The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution. 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.”
Not only did SCOTUS deny Texas’ motion, they also dismissed all Amicus briefs as moot — won’t read them.
The fact that so many state attorneys general and other attorneys and Congressional Representatives in the United States do not understand “standing” to bring a case before a court is an embarrassment. Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, went on Fox News to react on the denial by SCOTUS. Among other things, he stated that voters have standing to bring the case. Hopefully, before any voter does, they will read Judge Surrick’s opinion in the Berg case.