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Nebraska joins Texas' long-shot effort challenging Biden's win
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Nebraska joins Texas' long-shot effort challenging Biden's win

LINCOLN — The State of Nebraska is saddling up with Texas in a long-shot bid to overturn the results of the November presidential election.

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson announced Wednesday afternoon that the state had joined 16 others in signing a brief in support of a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, that seeks to invalidate the 62 total Electoral College votes in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in hopes of making Donald Trump the winner.

In the lawsuit, Paxton repeats a list of unsupported allegations that have failed in other court cases about mail-in ballots and voting in the four states.

Legal experts dismissed Paxton’s filing as the latest and perhaps longest legal shot since Election Day to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over the president, and officials in the four states sharply criticized Paxton.

“I feel sorry for Texans that their tax dollars are being wasted on such a genuinely embarrassing lawsuit,” said Josh Kaul, Wisconsin’s attorney general.

Jane Kleeb, head of the Nebraska Democrat Party, said that by signing onto the lawsuit, Nebraska is effectively saying that state legislatures, and not voters, should decide elections.

“The lawsuit that (Gov. Pete) Ricketts is endorsing, with our taxpayer money, tries to claim that mail-in ballots are illegal. This is outrageous,” Kleeb said.

But Peterson, in a press release, said that the Texas case presents an important issue of separation of powers over who, courts or state legislatures, should decide election rules.

A month ago, Peterson joined in a lawsuit challenging the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to extend the deadline for counting absentee ballots beyond Election Day, arguing that only state lawmakers have the power to change the rules. That case is still pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Pennsylvania officials have said they received about 10,000 ballots in the mail after Election Day. Biden won the state by a little more than 80,000 votes.

The Texas case, the Nebraska attorney general said, raises some of the same issues, adding that Nebraskans have a “strong interest” in how voting for president was conducted in other states.

Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen, the state’s top election official, said he agreed with Peterson’s decision, saying that “credible claims” of election irregularities need to be fully investigated.

Ricketts, when asked about joining the lawsuit earlier Wednesday, said he was leaving it up to Peterson to decide. Later in the day, his office said he supported Peterson’s action.

On Wednesday, Trump said that his campaign will join the Texas lawsuit.

If successful, the Texas lawsuit would set aside the four states’ certified vote totals and leave it to those legislatures, which are controlled by Republicans, to appoint electors. The Electoral College is to meet Monday to cast votes for president.

The Supreme Court, without comment Tuesday, refused to call into question the certification process in Pennsylvania in a different case.

“We will be INTERVENING in the Texas (plus many other states) case,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!”

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Reporter - Regional/state issues

Paul covers state government and affiliated issues. He specializes in tax and transportation issues, following the governor and the state prison system. Follow him on Twitter @PaulHammelOWH. Phone: 402-473-9584.

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