Donald Trump’s Court Plan: Is a Second Term Possible?


David O’Brien, Editor

Rudy Giuliania announces the election is not over.

Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and Trump’s personal lawyer, berated people celebrating and lamenting the outcome of the election pre-maturely by saying, “networks don’t get to decide elections, courts do.” Immediately after this remark, many dismissed Giuliani’s statements as false on the premise that courts do not decide elections, voters do, and the voters have chosen Biden. With a projected 306 votes, Biden has won. While ignoring the states that networks have refused to call such as Georgia, Alaska and Arizona, Biden still leads with 279 votes. Despite this, Trump supporters still have faith in the President by believing that voter fraud is rampant in the election and will be stopped once the court steps in.

Trump has made three major claims surrounding voter fraud that have all been called to national attention. The first was a video circling social media of a man burning ballots in a plastic bag. Election officials, however, have proven that the ballots burned in the video were not actual ballots, but actually sample ballots. The absence of bar codes on the ballots shows the viewers that they were not actually real ballots. In response, the Trump camp claimed that you cannot trust election officials. The second major claim was from a picture that went viral of Michigan’s count for Biden’s drastic increase by 138,000 votes. This too has been deemed false, as it was apparently a clerical error from the Shiawassee, MI county of presidential data. Once the error was identified, it was replaced by the correct information. The election officials then proved that there was an error, and quickly fixed it. Despite this, Donald Trump has reposted the picture onto his Twitter account and claims that it serves as evidence that the establishment and the election officials are out to get him. The final major claim of the Trump camp is that a large amount of votes received for Biden were actually by people who died before election day. This is the only concrete argument he makes, so is it enough to derail Biden’s trip to the White House? According to Axios, even if the Trump camp managed to delegitimize numerous votes, it would take a miracle for over 12,000 to be thrown out in each swing state. According to Deutsche Welle, the Trump administration’s argument is that 14,000 votes cast in Michigan were actually by the deceased. This has subsequently been proven false. The only example given for this statement was that William Bradley, a man who died in 1984, voted for Biden. This was a clerical error as the ballot was supposed to be registered for William Bradley Jr. who voted for Biden. This means no extra vote occurred, in this case at least. 

Many supporters of Trump believe that a similar outcome to Bush v. Gore is possible after the election. However, things are not the same twenty years after this famous court decision. While the Supreme Court remains conservative and a presidential candidate is demanding a recount, the situations are quite different. While Gore’s failed attempt at winning a recount was over 600 votes in Florida, Donald Trump hopes to win a recount by flipping 12,000 votes at the minimum in numerous states. David Boies, Gore’s lead election lawyer, has stated, “There’s no legal avenue for the Trump campaign to plausibly dispute the results in any one state.” Gore’s recount also began because all major news outlets claimed Florida was too close to call, while Georgia and Arizona remain too close to call, despite Biden’s 13,000 and 14,000 vote lead. Trump does not have this luxury either as, even with Arizona and Georgia switching sides and voting red, he still lacks the majority needed to win. Finally, the butterfly ballot issue was the primary argument for Gore. Butterfly ballots were the method of counting votes in Florida, where a hole puncher would stamp out who your vote would go to. This system was flawed, however, as many votes were not fully stamped out, thus a recount was a logical move since many of the ballots were thrown away despite being filled out. Mail-in votes also do not have this issue, as they were all filled out via coloring in a hole on the ballot. Thus, the precedent set by Bush v. Gore does not necessarily apply to this election as the circumstances were widely different. Gore argued over 500 votes because of ballots he believed were counted incorrectly. Trump is arguing that numerous states have committed fraud and election officials have formed a kabal to take him out of office.

Despite this, Trump continues to claim the Supreme Court will settle this. Trump has hired lawyers nationwide to run these lawsuits in each swing state. Some of these lawyers include outgoing congressman Doug Collins, former counsel to the president Kory Langhofer and Ron Hicks. Trump is also launching a new campaign in each swing state that voted for Biden in an attempt to garner more support for his crusade against the election results. Trump has also founded a political action committee (PAC) to help fund changing the outcome of the election in his favor. The PAC, known as Save America, is known as a leadership PAC. The PAC is allowed infinite people to donate to it with a max donation budget per person of $5,000. The goal for Save America is to help Donald Trump maintain his power over the presidency as well as the Republican party after he leaves office. 60% of donations to the Trump campaign and the RNC will now be put into Save America. The PAC is said to have been in the making, win, lose or draw. Despite Trump’s belief that the election is far from over, prominent Republicans have congratulated Biden on his victory and denounced Trump for his actions. The 43rd President, George W. Bush, has congratulated Biden and stated that the election was fair and the outcome was clear. Republican senators Ben Sasse (NE), Pat Toomey (PA), Mitt Romney (UT), Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) have all openly stated they believe Biden has won and all believe Trump should cooperate with the transition.

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