Report Card Criteria In Depth

Texas Amicus Brief

On December 7, Ken Paxton, the Attorney General of Texas, filed a lawsuit directly in the Supreme Court that attempted to delay the Electoral College vote and entirely prevent four states (Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan) from casting their votes for Joe Biden.

The lawsuit accused those four states of making changes to their election laws through “executive fiat or friendly lawsuits,” and that those changes benefitted Democrat voters at the expense of Republicans, despite the fact that Texas made identical changes in their election laws in response to COVID.

126 Republican lawmakers signed an amicus brief in support of this lawsuit that attempted to disenfranchise millions of law-abiding voters.

Electoral College Objections

Before 2020, certifying the results has been a formality for Congress, a largely procedural necessity that passes with little fanfare or notice. This year was different – in the days leading up to Jan. 6, many Republicans got in front of any camera they could to proclaim that they would object, and rallied tens of thousands of Americans to D.C. to join their fight to “stop the steal.”

Ultimately, 139 House members and 8 Senators objected to certifying one or more states’ Electoral College votes, even after the carnage of that same day. By voting to disenfranchise millions of Americans and thereby overturn the results of the election, these Republicans made it clear that they stood with Trump, and not with our Constitution.

Public Statements About the Election

In the days and months following Election Day, even as millions of ballots were still being counted, countless Republican politicians started to publicly question the integrity of the election. Some incredulously claimed that the election had been stolen outright by the Democrats, Hugo Chavez, and China, among others. Others couched their opposition to this free and fair election in more legalistic terms, falsely claiming that the results were invalid because states had engaged in “unconstitutional voting practices.” Many claimed that they were simply “asking questions” on behalf of the millions of Republican voters who believed the election was stolen, neglecting to consider that their own public rhetoric was responsible for this mass delusion. Still others were evasive when asked who won the election, or did not proactively say that President Biden won.

Casting doubt on the validity of this election, on an election that Trump’s own Attorney General recognized was free of widespread voting fraud, constitutes an attack on a cornerstone of our democracy: free and fair elections.

Voting to Impeach or Convict Trump

In the aftermath of the attack on our Capitol, Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for Incitement of Insurrection. 10 House Republicans made the politically risky decision to put country over party and join their Democratic colleagues in voting to impeach. These 10 votes were historical; they made the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump the most bipartisan in history.

In the Senate, seven Republican Senators joined their Democratic colleagues in voting to convict Trump. Despite the political risks involved, these seven decided to stand by the Constitution and vote their consciences. This historical conviction, the most bipartisan in Senate history, underscores Trump’s complicity and their own integrity.

Independent January 6th Commission

On May 14, key House members on the Homeland Security Committee, Republican Rep. Katko and Democrat Rep. Thompson, announced that they had struck a deal to create an independent commission to investigate what happened on Jan. 6. Senior party leaders from both sides were involved in negotiating the details of the commission, and the Democrats made numerous concessions in the spirit of compromise, hoping Republicans would buy in. Despite initially backing the commission, Republican leaders in the House and Senate reversed course after Trump issued a scathing statement opposing the bill. On May 19, 35 House Republicans defied McCarthy and did the right thing, voting in favor of the commission.