FL’s Republican AG Moody gets involved in presidential election challenge before U.S. Supreme Court

By: - December 9, 2020 6:38 pm

Florida Attorney Ashley Moody. Source: Screenshot/Florida Channel

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has joined a friend-of-the court brief in support of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s request that the U.S. Supreme Court overrule presidential election returns in four states and let those states’ legislatures decide the outcome.

“The integrity of the 2020 election is of paramount importance. The United States Supreme Court should weigh the legal arguments of the Texas motion and all pending matters so that Americans can be assured the election was fairly reviewed and decided,” Moody, a Republican, wrote on her Twitter feed.

The states in the lawsuit relate to Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, all states where Democratic President-elect Joe Biden won. President Donald Trump won Florida’s 29 electoral votes.

According to Reuters: “President Donald Trump and 17 U.S. states on Wednesday threw their support behind a long-shot lawsuit by Texas seeking to overturn his election loss by asking the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out the voting results in four states.”

Reuters also wrote: “In addition to Missouri, the states joining Texas were: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia. All of the states were represented by Republican officials in the filing. All but three of the states have Republican governors.”

Nicki Fried, Florida’s commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the state’s most senior elected Democrat, issued a written statement denouncing Moody’s move.

“It’s embarrassing to the integrity of our democracy and resolution of this election,” Fried said.

“It’s disappointing, but predictable, that Florida’s Attorney General isn’t acting in the interest of the people she was elected to serve, but in self-interest to a president who lost an election and cannot face the reality of his defeat.”

Paxton in his complaint alleged that vote counting in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania was tainted by “significant and unconstitutional irregularities.”

Moody, a Republican, has been a vocal supporter of President Trump and campaigned for him in the weeks leading to the election. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis also has urged Trump to continue to contest the outcome.

Trump has been falsely claiming since the election — including during a campaign rally in support of Georgia Republicans in two runoff U.S. Senate elections in that state — that he defeated Biden on Nov. 3. However, federal officials including Attorney General William Barr have attested to the election’s integrity and courts have rejected dozens of legal challenges filed on Trump’s behalf.

For details about the underlying case see this story from Phoenix affiliate the Georgia Recorder.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal.