President Donald Trump is seen by many to be ineffectual; however, regarding the judicial branch of our government, Trump has had a profound effect by appointing partisan judges at all levels of the federal courts. Over a week has passed since the 2020 presidential election, and it is abundantly clear that Joe Biden has won, but Trump’s camp refuses to concede and is seeking legal avenues to invalidate Biden’s victory.
Trump lawyer, Harmeet Dhillon went on Fox News and called on the Supreme Court to act saying, “We’re waiting for the United States Supreme Court – of which the President has nominated three justices – to step in and do something. And hopefully, Amy Coney Barrett will come through.” This is a deeply troubling statement considering the Supreme Court is meant to be an independent body, not an arm of the Executive.
The Supreme Court isn’t the only legal avenue Trump’s team is seeking a remedy from. Over 20 lawsuits have been filed alleging voter fraud in several swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Nevada.
The lawsuits are by and large being struck down because they lack evidence. A recent Pennsylvania suit alleging vast illegal ballot casting was called a bunch of “unsubstantiated stacked hearsay allegations,” by lawyers in the Federal District Court in Williamsport, Pa. This response is reflective of the consensus on the rest of these cases.
Throwing frivolous and conspiratorial suits is dangerous and corrosive to the United States’ democratic process. Trump supporters are being emboldened by the President to believe in baseless claims of voter fraud and illegal election activity. One of the arguments being levied against the states is that they weren’t allowing bi-partisan observation of ballot counting. When told that there was, in fact, observation, they moved the goalpost stating that the observers were forced to stand too far away to see. Rudy Giuliani, the lawyer to the President, claimed that they would need binoculars to see what they were counting, and that “anyone could have cast those votes…they could all be from Biden.”
The state appellate courts are holding strong in refusing to overturn election results on falsified and evidence lacking claims. As more votes were counted this week it became harder and harder for Trump to dispute the results of the election, for example, Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania passed the threshold for which a mandatory recount is allowed.
Trump’s appointments to the Supreme Court, Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Coney Barret were all involved in the legal team in 2000 that argued against a recount in Florida. That decision won George W. Bush the presidency. One could argue that Trump selected these three specifically so they would rule similarly in his favor to get him reelected.
It would take naivety to believe that the Supreme Court has always stood as a bi-partisan body, but the fact that Justice Comey Barret’s appointment is the first instance in which the minority party cast zero votes in favor, shows just how partisan our politics have become. The culmination of this, being the outright rejection of the election results.
For now, it seems as though the courts, Supreme Court included, are acting with integrity despite the machinations of Trump’s team and Biden will take the White House come January.