File-Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost speaks

In this Feb. 20, 2020, file photo, Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost speaks in Columbus, Ohio.

(The Center Square) – While Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost supports Texas’ efforts to sue four states for election irregularities, he’s leery of what the state wants.

Yost filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, urging it to accept Texas’ case to sue Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin, saying the Constitution charges state legislators to set rules for selecting electors for the Electoral College, not the executive or judicial branches.

Electors are scheduled to meet Monday and are expected to elect Joe Biden as the next president. Texas wants the Supreme Court to order legislatures in those four states to appoint new electors.

“Although Ohio does not endorse Texas’ proposed relief, it does endorse it’s call for a ruling on the meaning of the Electors Clause,” Yost said in his brief. “More precisely, Ohio urges the Court to decide, at the earliest available opportunity, whether state courts and state executive actors violate the Electors Clause when they change the rules by which presidential elections are run.”

Yost wants the court to make a definitive decision on the Electors Clause, and he believes it lacks authority to appoint new electors. The argument is the same he made last month in a brief associated with the Republican Party’s lawsuit against Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar.

“Federal courts, just like state courts, lack the authority to change the legislatively chosen method for appointing presidential electors,” Yost said. “And so federal courts, just like state courts, lack authority to order legislatures to appoint electors without regard to the results of an already-completed election.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed suit in the Supreme Court this week, alleging that Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania “exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the results of the 2020 general election.”

The four states, Texas says, acted in a “common pattern” and through lawsuits or through executive action, unlawfully changed the rules of the election.

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.