Trump Is Admitting That He Plans to Contest the Election Results
Trump commented yesterday on the need to confirm a new Supreme Court justice before the election.
“We need nine justices. You need that with the unsolicited millions of ballots that they’re sending. It’s a scam. It’s a hoax. Everybody knows that. And the Democrats know it better than anybody else. So you’re going to need nine justices out there. I think it’s very important.”
Reading between the lines, Trump clearly understands that he will lose the mail-in vote. So he knows that the only way to win the election is to contest the validity of the ballots that are mailed in. And he knows that that decision will ultimately be made by the Supreme Court.
With the court evenly split 4–4 between liberal and conservative judges, the court could deadlock and the election results could be delayed for weeks or even months.
Ideally, Trump wants the results of in-person voting on Election Day to determine the winner because he knows that his supporters are more likely to vote in person while Biden’s supporters are more likely to vote by mail.
But failing that, he needs to have as many mail-in ballots thrown out as possible. That will take a lot of litigation. The Justice Department under the leadership of Barr, who has become Trump’s de facto personal lawyer and fixer, is already contesting voting rules in states that are leaning Biden, as well as preparing to contest the results of mail-in voting after Election Day.
To win the post-election litigation, Trump needs a conservative majority on the court. Confirming a new Supreme Court justice prior to the election is the key to a second Trump term.
There is nothing that the Democrats can do to stop this. They shot themselves in the foot when they got rid of the filibuster in 2013 for all executive and judicial appointments except for the Supreme Court. This opened the way for Republicans, when they regained control of the Senate in 2015, to get rid of the filibuster for the appointment of Supreme Court justices so that they could confirm Neil Gorsuch.
Now the Democrats can’t filibuster to stop Trump from appointing another conservative judge. All that they can do is to wait for a Biden victory and then add more justices to the Supreme Court.
This sounds good if Biden wins, but I don’t think that he will win. I’m going to say it again and I’m going to keep saying it: it doesn’t matter that Biden is ahead in the polls. Hillary was ahead in the polls right up to Election Day and lost to Trump. I think we are going to see a similar scenario in 2020 that we saw in 2016, Biden will win the popular vote and Trump will win the Electoral College, only this time with the help of the Supreme Court.
The Republicans are parroting the Trump line that a new judge should be confirmed before the election but for different reasons. They are salivating at the opportunity to lock in a conservative majority on the court for decades to come. Even Mitt Romney, who is no fan of Trump and voted to impeach him, has said that he has no objections to Trump nominating a Supreme Court judge this close to the election and is willing to vote on nominee.
So be prepared for a second Trump term. All of the pieces have been put into place to ensure that he will win the election despite the will of the voters.