The US Supreme Court has promptly rejected a lawsuit President Donald Trump described as "the big one" in his effort to overturn his defeat to Joe Biden.

In a brief decision on Friday night, US time, the court ruled that the state of Texas, represented by Republican Attorney-General Ken Paxton, did not have standing to file a lawsuit against four of the swing states that voted for Mr Biden - Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin.

"The state of Texas's motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution," the court's order says.

"Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognisable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot."

The court's ruling includes a dissenting statement from Justice Samuel Alito, backed up by his fellow conservative Justice Clarence Thomas.

"In my view, we do not have discretion to deny the filing of a bill of complaint in a case that falls within our original jurisdiction," Justice Alito writes.

"I would therefore grant the motion to file the bill of complaint, but would not grant other relief, and I express no view on any other issue."

So essentially, Justices Alito and Thomas believe the court was obliged to hear the case, but they would not have granted Texas's requests for legal relief.

RELATED: 'The big one': Trump hypes new election case


Mr Paxton's lawsuit was supported by 17 Republican attorneys-general from other states, along with more than 120 Republican members of Congress - about two thirds of the party's caucus.

It also had the explicit backing of Mr Trump, who hailed it as "the case everyone has been waiting for" earlier this week.

In short, Mr Paxton alleged that the four states in question had illegally changed the rules around mail-in voting too close to the election, meaning their results could not be trusted.

Ultimately, he wanted the Supreme Court to order that all four states ignore their popular vote totals, which showed Mr Biden winning, and choose their electors via their respective state legislatures instead.

Incidentally, the legislatures are all controlled by Republican majorities.

More to come.




Originally published as 'Denied': Supreme Court slaps down Trump

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