The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the bid by Texas and President Donald Trump to nullify the election results in four pivotal states that went in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.
President Trump and his allies have made repeated unfounded accusations of voter fraud and filed a flurry of unsuccessful lawsuits challenging the election results.
The Texas attorney-general, Ken Paxton, a Republican under federal investigation, had asked the US high court to dismiss more than 20 million votes in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, four battleground states that carried Joe Biden to victory.
The lawasuit was supported not just by President Trump, but also by 17 other Republican state attorneys-general and 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives, including House minority leader Kevin McCarthy.
Mr Paxton filed the lawsuit on Monday, weeks after the November 3 election and after each of the states had certified their results, asking the US high court to invoke its original jurisdiction over disputes between states and allow the case to go forward.
The lawsuit sought to set aside the elections in the four states so their Republican-controlled state legislatures could decide the winner instead.
The case drew a furious reaction from the states targeted by Texas, with Pennsylvania’s Democratic attorney-general, Josh Shapiro, writing in response that the case was a “seditious abuse of the judicial process”.
However, during it’s ruling on Friday evening, the Supreme Court dismissed the suit saying Texas had no standing to challenge the results in other states.
“Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections,” the court said in an unsigned two-paragraph order.
Two of the court’s most conservative justices, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, said they would have supported a hearing on the case, but added in a short statement that they would “not grant other relief”.
Mr Paxton called the decision “unfortunate”, adding: “I will continue to tirelessly defend the integrity and security of our elections and hold accountable those who shirk established election law for their own convenience.”
President Trump responded to the decision on Twitter, writing: “The Supreme Court really let us down. No Wisdom, No Courage!”
The Supreme Court really let us down. No Wisdom, No Courage!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2020
With this new development, the electoral college is expected to make Joe Biden’s presidential victory official on Monday.
A spokesperson for Mr Biden said it was “no surprise” the court rejected “baseless attempts” to overturn the election results.
State election officials have said they have found no evidence of fraud, and lawyers for Mr Trump have failed to present evidence in court of the type of fraud he has alleged, despite consistantly insisting that the election was rigged.