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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday defended a widely criticized statistical analysis claiming President-elect Joe Biden had “less than one in a quadrillion” chance of winning the election without fraud.
Paxton cited the analysis by economist Charles J. Cicchetti in his long-shot U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit seeking to flip the election to President Donald Trump by excluding votes from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Georgia, where he claims mail-in ballots were vulnerable to fraud. In a response to the suit on Thursday, Pennsylvania ridiculed Cicchetti’s findings as “nonsense” and “worthless.”
In a filing on Friday, Paxton said the criticism of Cicchetti “consists solely of ad hominem attacks” and said his analysis showing Biden underperformed Hillary Clinton in the 50 largest urban areas in the U.S. “reinforces the unusual statistical improbability of Mr. Biden’s vote totals in the five urban areas in the Defendant States.”
The Paxton filing means the case is now ripe for the Supreme Court to act, perhaps as early as Friday. The justices were already scheduled to meet Friday morning in a private conference to discuss other pending matters.
‘End of Democracy’
A win for Texas in the suit would be “the end of democracy in the United States of America.” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a press call Friday. “And that is not hyperbole. It’s just a fact.”
Cicchetti claims that it was statistically impossible for Biden to overcome leads Trump held in the states on the night of the election, based on a random sampling of the same population.
But Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro pointed out in his state’s brief that it was widely expected that absentee ballots would heavily favor Biden because of the president’s frequent criticism of mail-in voting, and the media had been reporting the likelihood of a “blue shift” in certain states for months before the election. Moreover, though Trump did perform slightly better in urban areas than in 2016, he did much worse in suburban counties.
“Texas’s allegations and Dr. Cicchetti’s analysis are nonsense,” Shapiro said in the filing.
Read More: The Long-Shot Texas Suit Trump Is Hailing as the ‘Big One’: Q&A
The suit, in which Trump is seeking to intervene and which has been backed by 18 attorneys general of states the president carried, alleges the four states used the pandemic to unconstitutionally push through changes to mail-in voting rules without approval from their legislatures. Similar claims raised in other post-election suits have been roundly rejected by courts across the country.
Paxton on Friday again asked the high court again to block the four states from certifying presidential electors or allowing them to participate in the Dec. 14 Electoral College vote. As an alternative, Paxton said, the court could “summarily vacate” the states’ certification of the election and let the state legislatures decide the winner.
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