President Donald Trump continues to protest with unproven and false claims his defeat in the November 2020 election. Nearly every day, he makes baseless statements that the election was rigged and fraudulent, notably only in the states where he lost the popular vote. It is troubling that his legal team has filed judicial challenges in the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, and Wisconsin—where Black and Latinx voters were critical in his election defeat. Yet these legal challenges have not extended to the states that he won, including many with established reputations of widespread voter suppression of Black voters.
Trump has filed at least 56 lawsuits in state and federal courts and has lost nearly all of them. The sharpest rebukes, interestingly, have come from Republican Party-leaning judges and courts. The Supreme Court of the United States rejected two of these complaints. On December 11, SCOTUS dismissed Texas’ poorly construed and legally incoherent effort to overturn the elections in states won by Joe Biden/Kamala Harris. Conservative judges (including three nominated by President Trump) joined the other members of the court in rejecting both challenges.
To add insult to injury, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, an unelected constitutional officer, joined the Texas attorney general’s SCOTUS filing. This attempt at vote nullification was supported in an amicus brief signed by five of the nine-member congressional delegation of Tennessee: Charles J. ‘Chuck’ Fleischman, Mark Green, David Kustoff, John Rose, and Tim Burchett.
Slatery and Tennessee congress members’ attempt to overturn the will of 80 million voters is politically malicious, unconstitutional, promotes volatile political behavior, and even runs counter to conservative interpretations of federalism. Most notably, this effort to undermine democracy is a waste of taxpayers’ hard-earned money at a time when Tennessee officials need to invest resources in small businesses, hospitals, community health centers, schools and local governments that are collapsing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lastly, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Attorney General Slatery, and our congressional delegation must be truthful and courageous. Their submissiveness to Trump and denial of concrete facts about the Biden/Harris victory (facts now validated in more than 50 legal challenges and supported by both Republican and Democratic state and federal judges) are trampling on American democracy and damaging the general welfare of Tennesseans.
Accordingly, the Tennessee State Conference NAACP, along with area NAACP Units, support the Supreme Court’s decision. We call upon Gov. Lee, Attorney General Slatery and our congressional delegates to support the peaceful transition of power.