Gov. John Bel Edwards on Wednesday said a lawsuit supported by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry seeking to overturn millions of votes in the presidential election was “unfortunate,” as the Democrat urged people to accept President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
The last-ditch effort by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Landry and other Republican officials across the country asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take the unprecedented step of invalidating the electoral college votes of several states that delivered Biden the victory in last month’s election. Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson spearheaded an effort to get 126 House Republicans to sign on to the effort to deliver President Donald Trump a second term through the high court.
“Quite frankly it was unfortunate,” Edwards, a Democrat who typically avoids criticizing Trump, said on his monthly radio show. “I’m a lawyer. I know our courts exist to resolve disputes. But the disputes need to be real.”
Edwards noted the Trump campaign never produced evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have tilted the election to Biden. Trump’s campaign suffered a string of defeats in courts across the country as he sought to hold on to power.
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy is the only Republican in Louisiana’s congressional delegation who has publicly accepted the results of the election so far. The electoral college on Tuesday certified Biden’s victory, which became apparent to the nation’s major media outlets about a month ago.
The other U.S. Senator for Louisiana, John N. Kennedy, said this week through a spokesperson he is “continuing to watch the legal and constitutional processes, which are ongoing.” U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins said Biden’s inauguration would be “unjust.” Baton Rouge-area Congressman Garret Graves didn’t answer a question about whether Biden won, pointing to Louisiana’s electors voting for Trump.
The lawsuit filed by Paxton targeted Biden’s victory in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and asked the Supreme Court to invalidate tens of millions of votes. The Supreme Court tossed the suit last week. Landry and 17 other state attorneys general supported the effort.
Edwards is the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, and has appeared at the White House multiple times during his administration, including most recently last week for a roundtable discussion about the vaccine. He has remained on good terms with Trump, even after the president rallied against him multiple times during Edwards’ re-election bid last year. The governor, who is pro-gun and anti-abortion rights and leads a state that voted for Trump overwhelmingly in both elections, has taken care not to criticize the president.
“It seems to me it’s well past time that certain individuals accept the results of the election,” Edwards said.