A total of 18 state attorneys general and more than a hundred US representatives signed a “friend of the court” brief and joined a lawsuit brought by the attorney general of Texas against four battleground states, asking the Supreme Court to overturn the results of the November 3 presidential election.
Representative Andy Harris, Republican of Maryland’s 1st Congressional District, is one of 18 representatives and senators in the last Congress who has a medical degree (an MD or a DO).
— Rep. Andy Harris, MD (@RepAndyHarrisMD) March 9, 2015
He’s also one of the 126 representatives (but no senators) who joined Texas to support the lawsuit against four other states: Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The suit claimed the votes of the people should be thrown out in those states because something was amiss with their voting procedures.
The Supreme Court of the United States quickly dismissed the case for lack of standing. That means the people who were suing had no business suing in the first place. A lawyer would know this, but since Mr Harris is a doctor of medicine, not law, I understand how he would not fully understand the issue of standing in a civil suit.
But his signing on to the lawsuit has put him out of step with other leaders of the Republican Party from Maryland, including the state’s governor, Larry Hogan, who has urged Republicans to accept the victory of President-elect Joe Biden, The Baltimore Sun reports.
“I understand at the beginning maybe some people had some concerns about some of the allegations, but now we are several steps down the road. They are out of runway. We just have to acknowledge: This is embarrassing us. It’s an affront to our democratic process and it’s diminishing the presidency,” CNN quoted Mr Hogan as saying earlier this month.
Mr Harris has easily won the state’s 1st Congressional District since 2008, but the district, which includes the entire Eastern Shore and then stretches over to parts of Cecil, Harford, Baltimore, and Carroll counties, was heavily gerrymandered by Democrats to ensure that the state’s other seven districts would have easy Democratic wins.
The district is slanted toward Republicans, so Mr Harris’s only real threat is from the right. It’s pretty hard to be to the right of Mr Harris’s views.
He has said healthy people at low risk for Covid-19 effects should put off being vaccinated until more long-term effects of the vaccine can be studied. That view all but rejects what other government and scientific leaders are saying. The government’s own “Warp Speed” program for the Covid-19 vaccine did not short-circuit safety protocols, and the FDA and other agencies will, of course, continue to monitor the long-term risks of the vaccine.
Two representatives from Illinois also signed the Texas lawsuit: Darin LaHood, a Republican from the 18th Congressional District, and Mike Bost, a Republican from the 12th.
Mr Bost started serving in Congress after a victory in the 2014 election, and Mr LaHood was sworn in on September 17, 2015, after winning a special election a week earlier that filled the vacancy left by Republican Aaron Schock, who retired in March 2015. Both of Illinois’s signatories won handily in November, with Mr LaHood receiving more than 70 percent of the vote and Mr Bost receiving more than 60.
Both districts include large swaths of rural downstate Illinois, although both sweep in urban and suburban areas; both Mr LaHood and Mr Bost can be expected to suffer no worse than Mr Harris, as the only real threat would be from the right. Signing on to the lawsuit is about as extreme right as a representative can be.