A group of ten state republican attorneys general filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, seeking to force the rejection of some mailed ballots in the state of Pennsylvania. The filing was announced by Louisiana’s Attorney General, Jeff Landry, at an event organized by the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). The move is a clear and obvious attempt to help Donald Trump spread disinformation about the election result.
Prior to the election, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had ruled that ballots postmarked by election day could still be counted provided they were received within 3 days. The extension was given by the court because of the disruption caused by the pandemic, as well as problems within the US Postal Service in getting mail delivered on time. The intent was clearly to stop voters in Pennsylvania being disenfranchised.
The ten republican attorneys general are from the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas.
Republican state attorneys general are backed by the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), which spends millions every election cycle to help fuel their campaigns. Documented has compiled the donors to RAGA so far in 2020, see below. The largest donor of all is the Concord Fund, previously known as the Judicial Crisis Network, which has given $2.75m. Concord/JCN is best known as the group that pushed Justices Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett on to the Supreme Court.
RAGA has been spreading misinformation about problems at the polls since election day. The group claimed on twitter that Republican volunteers were locked out of the ballot count in Detroit, Michigan, a claim that distorted reality and gave the impression that something nefarious was going on inside. According to USA Today:
Earlier in the day, 268 Democratic challengers, 227 Republican challengers and 75 nonpartisan challengers were on the floor. The number of people per party and per independent organization was designated by state law to be no more than 134, the same as the number of absent voter counting boards set up to process and count ballots.
“We were well over the 134 maximum,” explained Lawrence Garcia, the city of Detroit’s lead attorney. “In the haste of doing business, nobody noticed that until it was over 200 for each party, and at that point, we said, we better stop admitting people until some people leave, and we’re under the 134 number.”
There are many household names among the RAGA 2020 donor list, including Koch Industries ($375k), Comcast Corporation ($200k), Walmart ($140k), Home Depot ($125k), Amazon ($100k), TikTok ($75k), 1-800 Contacts ($51k), Chevron ($50k), The National Rifle Association ($50k), Monsanto ($50k), Facebook ($50k), Fox Corporation ($50k), Uber ($50k), Coca Cola ($50k), Exxon ($50k), and Google ($25k). For the full searchable list, see below.
RAGA is holding its post-election meeting in Orlando, Florida this week. According to an invitation obtained by Documented, the meeting will feature sessions today about “the future of the judiciary, congressional overreach, and federalism and the role of state attorneys general.”
Image used under Creative Common, by Kyle Tsui