Political Notebook: Rowan’s congressman supported lawsuit to overturn election results

Published 2:05 am Monday, December 14, 2020

SALISBURY — Reps. Ted Budd and Richard Hudson, who represent parts of Rowan County, were among the more than 120 Republicans who signed an amicus brief in support of a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn 2020 general election results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The Supreme Court threw out the suit Friday night.

The suit was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last week and supported by President Donald Trump, most Republican members of the U.S. House and 17 Republican-led states. The lawsuit asked the Supreme Court stop the states from voting in the Electoral College in favor of Democrat Joe Biden, vacate the ratification of electors by the states and return the matter to the respective state legislatures.

The Electoral College is the method by which the U.S. chooses its president every four years. Each state picks electors based on the popular vote in its state. Those electors are then charged with electing the president.

The Supreme Court in an unsigned order on Friday stated Texas did not have standing to challenge election results in other states.

“Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections,” the court wrote.

While neither Budd nor Hudson have publicly shared comments following the Supreme Court’s decision, Trump tweeted Friday that the High Court “chickened out” and didn’t want to rule on the merits of the case.

“The fact that the Supreme Court wouldn’t find standing in an original jurisdiction matter between multiple states, and including the President of the States, is absurd. It is enumerated in the Constitution…,” Trump said. “They just ‘chickened out’ and didn’t want to rule on the merits of the case. So bad for our Country!”

In a tweet on Friday before the court ruling, Budd said the “Constitution gives authority over elections to the state legislatures.”

“In four states, non-legislative officials overstepped their authority and removed election safeguards,” Budd said. “That’s why the Supreme Court should hear the Texas case. #CountEveryLegalVote”

In another tweet on Friday, Budd said he supported the lawsuit because “millions of Americans do not have faith in the November election. One of the best ways to air out the legitimate concerns over voter fraud, machine irregularities, and mail-in ballots is at the Supreme Court.”

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, signed onto another amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court opposing Texas’ elections lawsuit, calling it “radical” and “anti-democratic” in its attempt to overturn the will of tens of millions of Americans.

“Court after court has determined that its factual allegations are false,” Stein said in a statement. “The complaint asks the Supreme Court to simply ignore the voters in several states and order legislators in those states to replace the voters’ choice with their own. This represents a profound and outrageous rejection of democracy with no precedent in our nation’s history. It would also violate some of our nation’s most basic constitutional principles, including federalism and respect for state law.”

Stein joined the attorneys general of 22 other states in filing this brief, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Washington and Washington D.C.

State’s political parties react to Beasley concession

RALEIGH — After incumbent N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, a Democrat, conceded the chief justice race to her Republican challenger, both political parties in the state found positives.

The concession came after a hand-to-eye recount across the state didn’t narrow the margin close enough for Beasley to take the lead.

North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin on Saturday praised Beasley for her dedication and the example she set while in office.

“Chief Justice Beasley broke new barriers and helped create a more just courts system that put people first and always sought to ensure every North Carolinian equal access to the law,” Goodwin said in a statement. “Throughout her dedicated, outstanding service over many years as judge, justice, and chief justice she has been an exemplar of what we strive to see in a fair, impartial, learned and greatly-respected court. We extend our great appreciation for her leadership and public service, and know she will continue to play an integral role in moving our state forward.”

The North Carolina GOP also released a statement congratulating Newby and praising “a historic victory for North Carolina Republicans” because they won all eight statewide judicial races for the first time.

“Justice Newby ran a phenomenal campaign and will serve with honor and distinction as the chief justice on our highest court ” said NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley. “North Carolina Republicans made history by sweeping every statewide judicial race. These strategic victories are not an accident but the result of our hard-working volunteers, staff, and candidates across North Carolina, who worked tirelessly to elect conservative judges.”

Each of the 100 county boards of elections last week conducted the recount of ballots in 3% of its precincts, which were randomly selected by the state board. In Rowan County, the hand-to-eye recount was among election day ballots cast in the Faith and South Ward precincts.

In Rowan County, the hand-to-eye recount resulted in only one additional vote cast for Newby. The additional vote in Newby’s favor came from the Faith precinct.

Sen. Thom Tillis praises ‘monumental achievement’ in approval of COVID-19 vaccine

CHARLOTTE — Following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the first emergency use authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine Friday, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC, called it a “monumental achievement” that’ll clear the path for a return to normalcy.

“This will be the first of several vaccines that are approved, and all North Carolinians should have confidence that no corners were cut in ensuring its safety and effectiveness, and that all vaccine candidates undergo the scrutiny of the FDA’s gold standard review process,” Tillis said. “I applaud the thousands of Americans who have participated in clinical trials, including many North Carolinians. The success of the vaccine will be ultimately dependent on the whether the majority of Americans elect to participate.”

Tillis also said he will receive the vaccination next year once it’s widely available to the American public and after frontline workers and the most vulnerable have received it.

To read about Rowan County’s plan to distribute the vaccine, click here.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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