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McCarthy with Trump in 2017. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Friday joined 125 House Republicans in backing the Texas lawsuit that seeks to invalidate the millions of votes in four battleground states that President-elect Joe Biden won.

Why it matters: McCarthy was left off of the original filing on Thursday and would not answer questions about whether he supported the long-shot lawsuit, which has been dismissed by legal experts as doomed to fail. He is now the highest-ranking Republican in Congress to back the suit, which President Trump has called "the big one."

  • By signing the amicus brief, the GOP members are encouraging the Supreme Court to hear arguments in the case, even though all 50 states have certified their election results and no evidence of widespread fraud has been uncovered.
  • The lawsuit alleges that Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin skewed the presidential election results and electors selected by voters in those states should not be permitted to cast votes for Biden.

What they're saying: “This brief presents [our] concern as Members of Congress, shared by untold millions of their constituents, that the unconstitutional irregularities involved in the 2020 presidential election cast doubt upon its outcome and the integrity of the American system of elections,” the brief signed by GOP lawmakers states.

Details: Signatories include House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.) and National Republican Congressional Committee chair Tom Emmer (Minn.) Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), head of the conservative Republican Study Committee, led the effort to solicit signatures.

  • The total amounts to 64% of the House GOP caucus, after 20 members — including McCarthy — joined on Friday.

The other side: GOP Conference chair Liz Cheney (Wyo.) is among the high-profile Republicans who did not back the suit.

  • Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.) wrote on Twitter that the case “represents a dangerous violation of federalism” and “sets a precedent to have one state asking federal courts to police the voting procedures of other states.”

The big picture: 17 states filed a brief in the Supreme Court this week in support of Texas, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia.

Go deeper

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Updated Jan 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

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