The US Supreme Court has ordered the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to respond by Thursday to a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who seeks to ban the four states from participating in the Electoral College after they certified Joe Biden's victory, according to a court document.
"Response to the motion for leave to file a bill of complaint and to the motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order or, alternatively, for stay and administrative stay requested, due Thursday, December 10, by 3 pm", the document from the court issued late on Tuesday said.
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday argues that state officials usurped the authority of their state legislatures when they enacted election laws to allow for mail-in voting. The laws created a system in which voters were treated differently, with more favourable circumstances allocated to local governments under Democratic control, according to the filing.
The officials in Texas also argue that the "appearance of voting irregularities" in the four states is consistent with the "unconstitutional relaxation of ballot-integrity protections" in the election laws of those states.
US President Donald Trump has been insisting that widespread voter fraud took place since the 3 November vote. Trump refuses to concede and continues to dispute the validity of the vote in courts, accusing his rivals of massive election fraud in key battleground states. He noted, however, that he will "certainly" leave the White House if the Electoral College certifies Biden as the president-elect on 14 December.
Earlier on Tuesday, the US Supreme Court rejected another lawsuit filed by Republican Congressman Mike Kelly seeking to nullify the certification of results in Pennsylvania over expanded mail-in voting.