Brent Ward: Sean Reyes has besmirched himself and Utah

Supreme Court case is an effort to disenfranchise millions of voters

(Rick Bowmer | AP photo) Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes speaks during the Utah Republican Party convention on April 26, 2014, in Sandy.

Dear Attorney General Sean Reyes:

You have besmirched your name and your office and embarrassed our state by joining that last-ditch hoax of a lawsuit filed by the Texas attorney general trying to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s election.

Your reputation is your own to disgrace, but you have no right to smear our state with this con. This is not something for which Utahns want to be known. Please cease and desist, limit the damage, and withdraw from this odious business.

We can’t stand idly by as you cavalierly make us a laughing stock. Maybe we should get up a petition for those of us who want to be exempted from this debacle.

The Supreme Court Friday rejected this case. But if you had gone before the court, you could have qualified your motion like this: “Motion of State of Utah (Except for the Following Hopping Mad Dissenters).” Please put me on the list of dissenters.

It looks an awful lot like you see some personal benefit in stroking Donald Trump. The Texas attorney general may be hoping for a pardon from the FBI investigation dogging him; what about you? You can’t be thinking Biden is going to fight you on your campaign against trafficking children.

The hundreds of pages of balderdash in Texas’ Proposed Bill of Complaint are more fit for a fire starter than a court of law. They boil down to one deluded proposition: that certain election officials committed gross crimes and misdemeanors by making it easier, or in many cases simply possible, for citizens to vote in the exigent circumstances of a pandemic.

Your recommended remedy for this grave offense? Invalidate tens of millions of votes from four states that just happen to have enough electoral votes to throw the election to Trump; votes that multiple federal and state courts have already said were legally cast.

There is word for this (well there are a lot of words for it, most of them unprintable): Disenfranchisement.

Hey, let’s do it. Don’t like the democratic process? No problem. Let those four state legislatures pick rump slates of Trump electors. In the back of their minds, that’s what the framers really wanted. We know they did. Let some random state legislators choose the president. Experience shows state legislators always know best.

Besides, it saves those tens of millions of folks the trouble of voting. Why, next time we’ll just ask them to stay home. No need for thousands of dedicated vote counters to go bleary-eyed counting superfluous votes.

These states are very fortunate that you have come to their rescue. Obviously, Michiganders, Cheeseheads, Georgians and Pennamites can’t be trusted to protect their own right to vote. I guess they ain’t had much schoolin’, like you. Why they’s just plain ignernt.

We’re the ones who are fortunate. We know that if you look out for the rights of these poor states now, why they’ll return the favor and butt in — er, look out for us — next time we make a mistake and choose the wrong president. I’m glad we’ll have 49 state attorneys general minding our store, well, except for four of them who are probably red-hot mad about now.

Oops, you didn’t want the federal government telling us what to do and now you have 49 pontificating paternalists to worry about. I didn’t believe all your ballyhoo about states’ rights and now you prove me wrong by doubling down. Well, good luck getting out of that fix.

When you come back from your lunch with Santa — er, Trump — I hope your bag of toys is full. One bauble is sure not to be there — a Supreme Court decision in your favor.

Brent Ward

Brent Ward is a Salt Lake City attorney, lifelong Republican and former U.S. attorney for Utah.