Washington: In blistering language denouncing Republican efforts to subvert the election, the attorneys-general for Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia asked the Supreme Court on Thursday, local time, to reject a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the victories in those states by President-elect Joe Biden, calling the audacious effort an affront to democracy and the rule of law.

The lawsuit, filed by the Republican attorney-general of Texas and backed by his GOP colleagues in 17 other states and 106 Republican members of Congress, represents the most coordinated, politicised attempt to overturn the will of the voters in recent American history.

US President Donald Trump has asked to intervene in the lawsuit as well in hopes that the Supreme Court will hand him a second term he decisively lost.

Under investigation for fraud: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.Credit:AP

The suit is the latest in a spectacularly unsuccessful legal effort by Trump and his allies to overturn the results, one so lacking in evidence that judges at all levels have mocked or condemned the cases as without merit. Legal experts have derided this latest suit as well, which makes the audacious claim, at odds with ordinary principles of federalism, that the Supreme Court should investigate and override the election systems of four states at the behest of a fifth.

The responses by the four states comprehensively critiqued Texas' unusual request to have the Supreme Court act as a kind of trial court in examining supposed election irregularities with the goal of throwing out millions of votes.

"The court should not abide this seditious abuse of the judicial process, and should send a clear and unmistakable signal that such abuse must never be replicated," a brief for Pennsylvania said.

"Let us be clear," the brief continued. "Texas invites this court to overthrow the votes of the American people and choose the next president of the United States. That Faustian invitation must be firmly rejected."

Pennsylvania Attorney-General Josh Shapiro is from one of the battleground states that filed the retort.Credit:AP

The briefs said Texas was in no position to tell other states how to run their elections, adding that its filing was littered with falsehoods.

"Texas proposes an extraordinary intrusion into Wisconsin's and the other defendant states' elections, a task that the Constitution leaves to each state," Wisconsin's brief said. "Wisconsin has conducted its election and its voters have chosen a winning candidate for their state. Texas' bid to nullify that choice is devoid of a legal foundation or a factual basis."

The briefs said Texas was in no position to tell other states how to run their elections, adding that its filing was littered with falsehoods.

"Texas proposes an extraordinary intrusion into Wisconsin's and the other defendant states' elections, a task that the Constitution leaves to each state," Wisconsin's brief said.

US President Donald Trump has asked to intervene in the lawsuit.Credit:AP

"Wisconsin has conducted its election and its voters have chosen a winning candidate for their state. Texas's bid to nullify that choice is devoid of a legal foundation or a factual basis."

The Republican attempt to overturn the election in the Supreme Court, coming just days before an Electoral College majority is set to vote for Biden on Monday, is being driven by conservative allies of Trump who enjoy his political favour and claim he has been treated unfairly.

The lawsuit was filed by Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general. Paxton is under indictment in a securities fraud case and facing separate accusations of abusing his office to aid a political donor by several former employees. He has denied the allegations. He is also a possible candidate for governor, which in Texas or most other red states would be difficult to do without a seal of approval from Trump.

According to the briefs filed by the four states that Biden won, the threshold problem was that the case did not belong in the Supreme Court at all. While the Constitution gives the court "original jurisdiction" to hear disputes between states, it exercises that jurisdiction sparingly, typically in water rights cases and border disputes. One state's disagreement with how another state chose to conduct its elections should not qualify, the briefs said.

The New York Times

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