NATIONWIDE — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday announced a lawsuit filed with the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn election results in the battleground states Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.

What You Need To Know

  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton seeking to overturn election results in four battleground states

  • President Trump and 17 states have joined lawsuit

  • Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican, questioned lawsuit's "legal theory"

  • U.S. Supreme Court ordered states to respond to lawsuit by Thursday afternoon 

President-elect Joe Biden won the four states.

Since then, President Donald Trump and 17 states have signed on to the long-shot lawsuit.

Not all Republicans are in agreement on its merits, however.

Appearing on CNN this week, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican who secured re-election in November, questioned how legally sound the suit is.

"I frankly struggle to understand the legal theory of it. Number one, why would a state, even such a great state as Texas, have a say-so on how other states administer their elections?” he said. “We have a diffused and dispersed system and even though we might not like it, they may think it's unfair, those are decided at the state and local level and not at the national level.”

Cornyn isn’t alone in his criticism. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican who has frequently criticized President Trump, likened the lawsuit to “madness.”

"It's just simply madness. The idea of supplanting the vote of the people with partisan legislators is so completely out of our national character that it's simply mad,” he said.

Perhaps most interestingly, Rep. Chip Roy, a Republican who represents Texas's 21 congressional district and who has been a fairly staunch Trump supporter, came out against the lawsuit Thursday in a series of tweets. 

Roy wrote, in part, “Today, a number of my colleagues will be filing an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit filed by the State of Texas regarding the election results of several other states. Respectfully, I will not join because I believe the case itself represents a dangerous violation.”

The court issued an order giving the four states until 3 p.m. EST Thursday to respond to the lawsuit.

According to a news release concerning the lawsuit, Paxton claims the four states “exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully [enacted] last-minute changes, thus skewing the results of the 2020 General Election.”

“Trust in the integrity of our election process is sacrosanct and binds our citizenry and the States in this union together. Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin destroyed that trust and compromised the integrity of the 2020 election,” Paxton said.

The deadline for states to appoint presidential electors is December 14, and election officials have repeatedly denied that fraud occurred.

No evidence of widespread voter fraud has surfaced.

Out of the roughly 50 lawsuits filed around the country contesting the November 3 vote, Trump has lost more than 35 and the others are pending, according to an Associated Press tally.

Paxton has been under indictment since 2015 in connection to felony security fraud charges and, according to the Associated Press, is being investigated by the FBI after it was alleged by members of his own staff that he used his position to illegally benefit a donor. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.