Missouri, Kansas officials respond to question about whether joining Texas election suit cost taxpayers

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri and Kansas officials say it did not cost taxpayers any money for the states to join a Texas lawsuit that asked the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out the election results in four battleground states.

The Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit on December 11 – two days after a coalition of attorneys general from 17 states, including Missouri and Kansas, filed an amicus brief in the case.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt spearheaded the coalition that filed the amici curiae in support of Texas’ effort to overturn the election results in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin. President Donald Trump lost in all four of those states.

Election law scholars criticized Texas’ lawsuit, saying it was politically motivated and failed to address serious legal questions.

But Schmitt argued the Texas case raised important constitutional issues and salient concerns about the integrity and public confidence in elections.

The Supreme Court disagreed.

“Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections,” the court wrote in an unsigned order.

Despite the court’s ruling, a spokesman for Schmitt’s office defended the state’s participation in the case.

 “We filed this amicus brief and sought intervention to protect the integrity of elections both now and in the future, and we will continue to work to ensure free and fair elections moving forward,” spokesman Chris Nuelle told FOX4.

Nuelle said a salaried employee prepared the brief — at no cost to taxpayers.

“We typically don’t divulge hours worked as it’s a personnel matter,” Nuelle said. “But again, there is no additional cost to the taxpayer.”

What about taxpayers in Kansas?

Did Attorney General Derek Schmidt waste taxpayer dollars by participating in a lawsuit that “won’t see the light of day” – an allegation leveled by Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley?

Not at all, Schmitt’s office said.

“There was no cost associated with Kansas joining the amicus curiae brief prepared by Missouri asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the Texas lawsuit,” spokesman John Milburn said.

“The amount of time spent reviewing the brief was not unusual and would have been expended whether or not Kansas joined the brief.”

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