On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit brought by allies of President Donald Trump to overturn the results of the November presidential election in the state of Pennsylvania. This is the first time the highest court has ruled on Trump’s dictatorial attempts to nullify the election results.
In a brief, two-line order, the court dismissed the case brought by Republican Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania without comment or dissent. Pennsylvania certified its election results last week, declaring former Vice President Joe Biden the victor after he defeated Trump by roughly 80,000 votes. Kelly’s lawsuit argued that a 2019 law that broadened mail-in voting in the state was passed unconstitutionally. In previous lower court appearances, Kelly argued that some 2.5 million votes should be thrown out or that the Republican-controlled legislature should choose who won the state.
While his court cases have failed, Trump continues to refuse to concede the election, alleging a far-flung conspiracy to rig the election that has no factual basis. He has urged his followers to seek “revenge” on his perceived “enemies,” which include Democratic and Republican politicians, election officials and poll workers.
Trump’s fascistic incitements have been amplified by substantial sections of the Republican Party. On Monday evening, the official Twitter account of the Arizona Republican Party asked its followers how many were willing to sacrifice themselves in order to secure Trump’s illegal coup. The Republican account retweeted a far-right “stop the steal” supporter who pledged to “give my life for this fight,” to which the official account responded with: “He is. Are you?”
On Tuesday, L. Lin Wood, an attorney allied with Trump, continued his fascistic attacks against Republican officials unwilling to overthrow the election results, alleging on Twitter to his over 700,000 followers that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp “loves Communist China” and “does not love [Georgia] voters.” Wood also represents Kyle Rittenhouse, the fascistic gunman who killed two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, earlier this year.
In an unprecedented lawsuit, the state of Texas, led by Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, is requesting that the Supreme Court block the Electoral College vote in four closely decided states that went for Biden: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The state versus state suit can only be resolved in the Supreme Court if it decides to hear the case. The lawsuit alleges that pandemic-related “unconstitutional statutory revisions” to voting laws made in those states, which primarily dealt with expanding mail-in voting, violated federal law and allowed voter fraud to occur.
In an interview Tuesday with Spectrum News, Texas Governor Greg Abbott lent his support to the lawsuit, declaring that it will provide “certainty and clarity about the entire election process.”
Election officials and attorneys general of the states named in the suit responded with derision. Georgia Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs called the allegations “false and irresponsible.” He added: “Texas alleges that there are 80,000 forged signatures on absentee ballots in Georgia, but they don’t bring forward a single person who this happened to. That’s because it didn’t happen.”
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said on Twitter: “These continued attacks on our fair and free election system are beyond merciless, beyond reckless—they are a scheme by the President of the United States and some in the Republican Party to disregard the will of the people—and name their own victors.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel in a statement called the motion a “publicity stunt, not a serious legal pleading.”
Whatever the outcome of the case in the courts, the lawsuit filed by Texas is a declaration that Biden is not the legitimate president-elect and sets the stage for violent confrontations whatever happens on January 20.
In a Fox News interview Monday with Sean Hannity, Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham urged Georgia Governor Kemp to call a special legislative session to overturn the results or order an audit of the mail-in ballot signatures. Graham warned, “If you’re not fighting for Trump now when he needs you the most as a Republican leader in Georgia, people are not going to fight for you when you ask them to get re-elected.”
Graham continued: “There's a civil war brewing in Georgia for no good reason. It’s not unreasonable to ask the legislature to come back in and order an audit of the signatures in the presidential race …”
Responding to Graham’s comments on CNN Tuesday, Democratic House Majority Whip James Clyburn declared: “Yes, there’s a civil war brewing, and it’s just as idiosyncratic as the civil war we had before. And it just so happens to be brewing the same part of the country that it broke out before. The result would be the same.”
The response of the Democratic Party to Trump’s continued efforts to overturn the election results and incite fascistic violence is to downplay the threat while continuing to call for “unity” with its “Republican colleagues.” The Democrats are above all terrified of any movement from below under conditions of growing popular anger over the ruling class’s response to the pandemic.
Biden has made no public statements opposing Trump’s attempted coup, and he is pressing forward with the appointment of a right-wing cabinet, including the imminent selection of retired General Lloyd Austin, a former commander of military operations in the Middle East, as defense secretary.
In his ongoing attempts to subvert the vote and overthrow the Constitution, Trump has so far personally intervened in three states—Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania—requesting help from Republican legislators and attorneys general to overturn the vote.
On Monday, the Washington Post reported that within the last week Trump has called the speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Bryan Cutler, twice seeking his assistance. A spokesman for Cutler told the Post that Trump and Cutler spoke about “issues in Philadelphia,” with Trump asking Cutler, “What can we do to fix it?”
Cutler advised Trump that the state legislature had no power over the state’s chosen slate of electors. However, this did not prevent Cutler, along with 62 other Republican Pennsylvania legislators, from sending a letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional representatives urging them to object to the state’s electors on January 6, when Congress formally accepts the results based on the December 14 Electoral College vote.
Yesterday marked this election’s “safe harbor” deadline, which the Electoral Count Act of 1887 states is the date that Congress is required to accept results that a state has certified. If a state changes its results after the safe harbor deadline or does not certify by that date, Congress is not obligated to accept the results.
Part of the strategy in Trump’s bevy of lawsuits was to delay the certification of election results before the Electoral College meets on December 14 to cast its votes for president. The Associated Press reported that every state except for Wisconsin has met the deadline and certified their results. Wisconsin is slated to certify its results, which showed Biden winning by some 20,000 votes, pending the conclusion of a Trump lawsuit that a state circuit court will hear on Thursday.
Responding to the safe harbor deadline, Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, both of whom have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week, released a statement declaring their and Trump’s intention to continue their attempt to overturn the results. They released a statement saying, “The only fixed day in the US Constitution is the inauguration of the President on January 20 at noon.”