Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said former President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud were not fully heard by various state and federal courts.
He said that a number of lawsuits that were filed by Trump’s team were dismissed on standing rather than the merits of the argument. Following the Nov. 3 election, Trump’s legal team filed dozens of suits in different states; most were thrown out before being heard due to a lack of standing.
“The one thing I think is untrue is that the courts fully heard this,” Paul said at a Heritage Foundation event this week. “Courts have been hesitant to get involved in elections.”
Paul added that judges have to decide whether officials, including secretaries of state, can change election laws without permission or votes from state legislatures. State officials, citing the COVID-19 pandemic, made various changes to election laws, including expanding the deadline and requirements for mail-in balloting.
The Kentucky Republican also said states should pass election integrity laws that specifically say a secretary of state can’t create a rule to mail out ballots or make changes if the law doesn’t expressly give them the power to do so, according to the Washington Times.
In February, the U.S. Supreme Court said it would not hear a GOP-led challenge to changes in Pennsylvania’s election laws.
Justice Clarence Thomas, in his dissent from the ruling, said the court “failed to settle” the dispute before the Nov. 3 contest.
“One wonders what the Court waits for. We failed to settle this dispute before the election, and thus provide clear rules. Now we again fail to provide clear rules for future elections. The decision to leave election law hidden beneath a shroud of doubt is baffling. By doing nothing, we invite further confusion and erosion of voter confidence. Our fellow citizens deserve better and expect more of us. I respectfully dissent,” Thomas said in his dissent.
“That decision to rewrite the rules seems to have affected too few ballots to change the outcome of any federal election. But that may not be the case in the future,” the justice continued. “These cases provide us with an ideal opportunity to address just what authority nonlegislative officials have to set election rules, and to do so well before the next election cycle. The refusal to do so is inexplicable.”
On Tuesday, meanwhile, the Arkansas Legislature approved changes to the state’s election laws such as restrictions near polling areas and regarding mail-in ballots.
Democrats have said that such laws would harm minority voters.