In its lawsuit, Texas alleged outcome-determinative election irregularities in the defendant states and that those irregularities worked an unconstitutional dilution of the votes of Texans.
The Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, however, is not limited to appellate cases. It also has original jurisdiction in several other categories of cases, one of which is in cases between two or more states. See, U.S. Const., Art. III, § 2, cl. 2.
When a court exercises original jurisdiction, it fulfills the function of a trial court, not an appellate court. Thus, by definition, when a plaintiff seeks to invoke the original jurisdiction of a court, the plaintiff has not litigated its case in any other court.
Such was the situation in Texas v. Pennsylvania, et. al. Texas sought to invoke the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction — as a trial court, not as an appellate court — to hear its case against Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Furthermore, because the case was between “two or more states,” no court other than the Supreme Court had original jurisdiction to hear the case. In other words, the Supreme Court was the only court which had jurisdiction to hear the case.
If the Supreme Court had concerns about whether Texas had standing to sue, it could have done what trial courts across the country do on a routine basis: accept the filing of written briefs, hear arguments from the parties on standing and jurisdiction, and then issue a ruling.
By refusing to accept the case, the Supreme Court effectively denied Texas of the right to litigate its case in any court, thus depriving Texas of due process of law. Justices Alito and Thomas appear to have acknowledged this fact in their dissent, which states in relevant part: “we do not have discretion to deny the filing of a bill of complaint in a case which falls within our original jurisdiction.”
Lapin Law Group, with its principal office in the Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex, serves all 254 Texas counties.