Final month, Alan Wilson joined 9 different state attorneys basic to help a lawsuit that sought to invalidate Joe Biden’s Pennsylvania victory over Donald Trump. The lawsuit was wholly partisan and with out benefit — because the U.S. Supreme Court docket demonstrated on Tuesday when it refused with out remark to overturn the governor’s certification of the election.
Maybe an argument may very well be made that our state’s high authorized officer has a official curiosity in how federal courts rule on instances that would set a precedent affecting South Carolina. And like many situations the place Mr. Wilson joins in amicus briefs with different Republican attorneys basic, it appeared like a innocent gesture.
The identical will not be true of a brand new lawsuit Texas Legal professional Basic Ken Paxton filed to invalidate the 62 Electoral Faculty votes in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. This lawsuit, primarily based on unsubstantiated claims in regards to the legitimacy of absentee voting, purports to be about defending the integrity of the vote within the 46 different states. In actual fact, it is a uncooked political effort to disenfranchise voters in states that didn’t decide Texas’ most well-liked candidate — the very antithesis of the tenth Modification/states’ rights argument that Mr. Wilson and different Republicans usually, typically rightly, make.
But a mere day after the nation’s excessive courtroom rejected the much less radical lawsuit concentrating on Pennsylvania, Mr. Wilson joined with Republican attorneys basic in 16 different states in submitting an amicus transient to help the Texas go well with. And on Thursday, after having lunch with the president, Mr. Wilson went additional, asking the courtroom to let him develop into a celebration to the lawsuit — if it takes up the case.
We marvel how Mr. Wilson would really like it if attorneys basic in Democratic-majority states requested the U.S. Supreme Court docket to throw out South Carolina’s election outcomes. In any case, one declare within the Texas go well with is that somebody aside from legislators instructed election officers they couldn’t throw out absentee ballots in Georgia as a result of they did not assume the signature matched the one on file — which additionally occurred in South Carolina. Any try by different states to invalidate South Carolina’s election outcomes would have exactly the identical quantity of benefit as this one: zero.
We aren’t anxious that Mr. Wilson’s intervention will sway the Supreme Court docket to disenfranchise tens of millions of voters. We’ve got no cause to consider that the courtroom, with or with out Mr. Wilson’s intervention, will agree even to listen to the lawsuit. If something, the avalanche of meritless lawsuits searching for to overturn a official American election is giving the Supreme Court docket’s latest members an opportunity to exhibit their integrity and independence.
Our concern is that the marketing campaign to delegitimize the election outcomes damages the inspiration of our republic. This hazard is compounded every time one other elected official lends credence to the meritless claims.
Mr. Wilson definitely isn’t the one S.C. elected official who has participated on this obsequious effort to placate a defeated president. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham leaps to thoughts, significantly however not completely in his dialog with Georgia’s high election official, who stated Sen. Graham appeared to recommend that he discover a strategy to reject authorized ballots.
However Mr. Graham and different Republicans have merely lent rhetorical help to the defeated president. Mr. Wilson is utilizing the facility of his workplace to attempt to overturn the outcomes of a legitimate election and undermine public confidence in our republic, and he’s dragging our state into the fray. That’s a stain on his popularity that Mr. Wilson must reside with for the remainder of his profession — and an amazing hurdle to beat if he seeks reelection in two years.