Lawyer John Scott, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s pick for secretary of state, briefly represented former President Donald Trump in a lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania, reports the Texas Tribune.
Scott’s nomination still needs to be approved by the Legislature, which is not scheduled to meet until 2023, but he will serve as interim secretary of state until then. In the role, Scott will oversee election administration in the state, assisting county elections staff and “ensuring the uniform application and interpretation of election laws throughout Texas.”
“John Scott is a proven leader with a passion for public service, and his decades of experience in election law and litigation make him the ideal choice for the Texas Secretary of State,” Abbott said in a statement. “John understands the importance of protecting the integrity of our elections and building the Texas brand on an international stage. I am confident that John’s experience and expertise will enhance his oversight and leadership over the biggest and most thorough election audit in the country.”
Trump’s legal challenges to the 2020 election ultimately failed, though the former president still says he overwhelmingly won reelection.
Scott withdrew from the case the day before a scheduled hearing and never provided an explanation on why.
Scott, who previously served as Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation for then-Attorney General Abbott, is an attorney with over 33 years of experience.
Abbott in September signed into law an overhaul on voting rights that introduced sweeping changes to ways Texans can cast ballots, including a ban on drive-through and 24-hour polling places. The law also added ID requirements to vote by mail.
At least 18 states have enacted new voting laws since the 2020 election, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
Another election bill heavily pushed by Trump died in the GOP-led Legislature Wednesday. It would have let candidates and other officials request election audits from the secretary of state and force counties to form “election review advisory committees” that would review the 2020 results from specific precincts if requested.