Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) indicated this week that Republicans will likely use President Donald Trump’s errant claims of election fraud to block confirmations of President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet nominations.
Cruz, while discussing Biden’s potential executive appointments, suggested that those nominations could be blocked, with Trump’s unsubstantiated assertions of fraud in this year’s presidential election providing Republicans the justification.
“As long as there’s litigation ongoing, and the election result is disputed, I do not think you will see the Senate act to confirm any nominee,” Cruz told Axios on Thursday.
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Control of the Senate will be decided by two runoff elections in Georgia early next month. If Republicans can win just one of those two races, they will remain in control of the upper chamber — giving them the ability to not only block legislation put forward by Biden, but also obstruct any executive and judicial appointments.
On Friday, for instance, Nevada state District Judge James Russell decried such claims from the Trump campaign and its allies. “The court finds that there is no credible or reliable evidence that the 2020 General Election in Nevada was affected by fraud,” Russell wrote in his opinion.
Earlier in the month, U.S. Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, who was appointed by Trump, also issued a scathing opinion disputing assertions of election fraud.
“Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so,” Bibas wrote in the court’s unanimous decision. “Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”
In spite of failing to win in almost any of the court cases where alleged fraud took place, the president continues to support efforts to undo the results of last month’s race — including backing a lawsuit from the state of Texas that makes similar unsubstantiated claims of fraud.
The lawsuit, brought forward by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and submitted to the Supreme Court this week, seeks to invalidate the election results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. The suit also aims to let Republican state legislatures in all four states pick the recipient of their states’ respective Electoral College votes, a move that would undoubtedly grant Trump another term in office.
Trump asked Cruz on Tuesday whether he would argue that case before the Supreme Court on the president’s behalf if the justices decide to hear it. Cruz reportedly accepted the invitation.
However, many legal experts (including several in Texas) have said that the Supreme Court is very unlikely to accept the case.
“This one really is a stretch,” South Texas College of Law professor Josh Blackman said, adding that he believes there is “no chance the Supreme Court gets involved with this in any way.”
University of Texas Law School professor Steve Vladeck voiced a similar opinion on the matter as well. “Spoiler alert: The Court is *never* going to hear this one,” he tweeted earlier this week.