Doing Justice to the Presidential Election

The polls are closed but the battle for the Presidency carries on. The Supreme Court will be the deciding factor, says Trey Barnes

US Supreme Court
The United States Supreme Court building

There are many aspects of Election Day, thus far, that are worth noting. It is an American election like no other in modern times.

First, no winner. There may not be for several days – Pennsylvania allows a large amount of time for ballots to be counted. Officials there have indicated that they expect most votes to be counted by Friday, November 6th. Trump has said this delay may well lead to violence.

The States determining the result are largely as predicted –Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona. The fight over Georgia was unexpected but it will likely stay in the Trump column, as will North Carolina – even though most outlets are calling it uncertain.

Nevada has been put into play more than expected, also. Trump needs it, badly.
The race is on a knife edge.

The fact of his press conference occurring at all is worth noting. This is very unusual, if not unprecedented, while the vote counting is still ongoing in a Presidential election. It indicates concern in his camp that the ultimate vote counts are not in his favor.

The Biden campaign has indicated that it is fully prepared for all eventualities. They should be.

The US House and Senate were also in play. The Senate is still uncalled but appears likely to stay in Republican control.

The House of Representatives will stay in Democrat hands, though the party did lose several seats.

It was expected that the President would come out strong on election day. His turnout was substantial and, as I indicated in a previous column, has proved critical. His campaign has counted on election day turnout and it may have ended up falling a bit short.

The President appeared in an overnight press conference reiterating his belief that fraud is occurring against him across the country. He declared victory and said that any further votes should be discounted. That is not happening. His actions have been widely disparaged and disavowed.

The smart money is on litigation. Maybe all the way to the US Supreme Court.

It appears that the mail-in votes are pushing Biden past President Trump in these deciding states. The Trump campaign has been publicly against mail-in voting as potentially fraudulent for some time. And the President, who has claimed victory, has demanded that the Supreme Court stop more ballots being counted.

The highest court in the US, after the successful nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, has six conservatives justices. But it is no guarantee of success. The Supreme Court did back a Republican challenge to rule changes in Wisconsin that would have permitted the counting of late order votes, and there are grounds for challenge in Michigan and North Carolina, there is no guarantee that they will hear his case.

As the nation hangs in the balance, it all comes down to the justices.

4th November 2020