Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes recently signed on to the complaint filed by the Texas Attorney General suing four other states over inappropriate and unconstitutional procedures in conducting their elections. The harm to the state of Texas, the suit alleges, is that failure to follow constitutional procedures in the defendant states could have an effect on the Electoral College that negates the electoral votes cast in Texas (and other states). These allegations have merit and deserve their full evidentiary day in court. Yet, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, refusing Reyes’ wishes for adjudication, along with the wishes of many others.
Reyes joined over twenty states, Attorney Generals, and numerous members of Congress to ask for a fair hearing. This obviously entails political risk. Feelings run high on both sides of this issue. The Electoral College votes have been counted and Biden has been declared the winner one camp holds there is no further discussion of the issue. The alternate position notes mounting procedural and statistical improbabilities and points to a pile of evidence suggesting foul play. The fact that several electors in swing states where fraud is alleged cast electoral ballots for Trump instead of Biden officially places the electoral count as a contested result, regardless of the evidence.
None of the main arguments alleging fraudulent vote counts have been aired in a court of law prior to electoral votes being cast. This clouds the election and begs the question: until all evidence is fully presented and cross-examined, how can we reliably tell if there is enough smoke to indicate an electoral fire?
What the Trump team has shown the public so far are hundreds, even thousands, of affidavits from people working on the election claiming direct witness of serious procedural fraud. They have also assembled a forensic examination of compromised Dominion servers used in the election. In a court of law that is called evidence. But the evidence must have its day in court to come to an accurate conclusion.
In this respect, Reyes was correct in adding his name to the brief. It is a clear statement that whatever evidence does exist should see the light of day. But Reyes has been roundly criticized, even by our own Governor and Governor-elect. In a joint statement Herbert and Cox stated: “Just as we would not want other states challenging Utah’s election results, we do not think we should intervene in other states’ elections. Candidates who wish to challenge election results have access to the courts without our involvement. This is an unwise use of taxpayers’ money.”
But is it unwise? After all, the legitimacy of a Biden presidency and the future integrity of the Republic itself would be on the line if these allegations show any merit. Should that not be a priority? And if the suit uncovers widespread impropriety in other states, it directly affects Utah, in essence offsetting our legitimate Electoral College votes with other contaminated votes. The fact the suit was filed by one group of states against another merely pushed it directly to the Supreme Court, a savvy legal gambit, which should have been granted standing.
The Deseret News was equally savage in their criticism of Reyes writing in a news board editorial: “Utah’s presidential election has been settled and certified. Its residents have no interest in involving themselves in matters concerning other states, especially given the damage the Texas lawsuit would do to confidence in the election, and in American democracy.”
The luminaries at Deseret News miss the point completely. As long as there are unanswered questions as to the propriety and constitutionality of any state’s behavior or results, the issue is not settled. It is an issue that cuts deeply into the supposed sanctity of our entire system, and thus should be a top concern of Utahns and any other state’s citizens who care about representative government. A “nothing to see here, it’s over” approach presents real danger when confidence in an election presupposes free and fair (and untainted) results. The Supreme Court is missing the opportunity to settle the issue once and for all.
Sean Reyes is courageous to step out onto this politically charged stage and demand answers and the proper procedures of law. He obviously understands what is at stake. And that is nothing short of the future functionality of our Republic. Reyes gets it. If the case Texas built had any merit whatsoever, it is critical to the preservation of our Republic. How is it possible to have no civilian legal authority willing to see this through? Such reluctance only breeds more distrust in the system and casts a shadow on the whole proceeding in the eyes of at least half the country.