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ATLANTA — The U.S. Supreme Court early Friday evening rejected a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas seeking to invalidate the presidential election results in Georgia and three other states.

In an unsigned order, the justices ruled that Texas lacks the legal standing to challenge the outcome of the Nov. 3 voting in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, handing President Donald Trump a major defeat.

“Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the matter in which another state conducts its elections,” the court ruled.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican and Trump ally, filed the suit earlier this week seeking to block the Electoral College from electing the next president on Monday. It claimed irregularities during the Nov. 3 election in all four states made it impossible to determine which candidate won.

President-elect Joe Biden has been certified the victor in the four states. The Democrat was determined to have carried Georgia by 11,779 votes following two recounts.

Seventeen GOP attorneys general declared their support for the lawsuit earlier this week. They were joined by Georgia’s two Republican U.S. senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, and by six of Georgia’s GOP House members: U.S. Reps Buddy Carter, Drew Ferguson, Austin Scott, Jody Hice, Rick Allen and Barry Loudermilk.

“This isn’t hard and it isn’t partisan. It’s American,” Perdue and Loeffler said in a joint statement on Tuesday. “No one should ever have to question the integrity of our elections system and the credibility of its outcomes.”

But Georgia’s Republican Attorney General, Chris Carr, dismissed the lawsuit earlier this week as “constitutionally, legally and factually wrong.”

Appearing on CNN Friday shortly before the ruling was announced, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said the lawsuit went against Republican philosophy.

“As a Republican, one of our standards is states’ rights,” he said. “To watch another state try to reach into our state and three other states is concerning and, long term, would have even bigger ramifications if carried through.”

Friday’s ruling opens the way for Georgia’s 16 presidential electors, all Democrats, to cast their ballots for Biden. The group will meet at noon Monday at the state Capitol.

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