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Experts Scoff at Trump Campaign’s Newest Election Challenge, But Note ‘Concerning’ Reference to ‘Disruption’

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 14: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on his way to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on May 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump is traveling to Allentown, Pennsylvania to visit Owens & Minor, a medical equipment distributor.

Donald Trump

The Trump campaign’s challenges to the 2020 presidential election just won’t stop. They filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court over state court decisions from Pennsylvania. They want to knock out what they called “invalid” mail-in ballots from the count.

“Statutory requirements were eliminated regarding signature verification, the right of campaigns to challenge invalid mail ballots, mandates that mail voters fill in, date, and sign mail ballot declarations, and even the right of campaigns to observe the mail ballot canvassing process in a meaningful way,” they alleged in a filing dated Sunday.

They ask the court to hurry up their consideration of the petition. Congress is scheduled to formally accept the electoral college results on January 6, 2021.

The Trump campaign and supporters have faired abysmally in court battles taking place in battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Georgia. They have not gained President Donald Trump a single electoral vote. They gained no traction even when facing a largely conservative U.S. Supreme Court that featured three justices nominated by the incumbent.

Plaintiffs in this case referenced an Epoch Times report about electors in seven states casting “dueling votes for Trump.” But such electors were not legally valid; these were Trump supporters engaging in political theater.

Legal experts scoffed at the chances for this new challenge.

Nonetheless, more than one professor raised an eyebrow at a passage in the motion for expedited consideration [emphasis ours]:

Finally, if this matter is not timely resolved, not only Petitioner, but the Nation as а whole may suffer injury from the resulting confusion. Indeed, the intense national and worldwide attention on the 2020 Presidential election only foreshadows the disruption that may well follow if the uncertainty and unfairness shrouding this election are allowed to persist. The importance of а prompt resolution of the federal constitutional questions presented by this case cannot be overstated.

“This is a truly shocking thing to say in a legal filing to the Supreme Court,” said Professor Josh Douglas, an election law expert from the University of Kentucky College of Law. “The ‘confusion’ about the election is due solely to the president and his allies’ refusal to accept defeat. And the ‘disruption that may well follow’ sure seems like a veiled threat.”

The petition follows the day after New York Times reporting that Trump considered making attorney and conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell a special counsel for election fraud, and discussed pardoned former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn‘s idea of using the military to overturn some election results.

Election law expert Professor Rick Hasen of the University of California, Irvine School of Law called the “disruption” language “very concerning.” Besides that, he was dismissive of the legal challenge, and of the reference to alternate electors in The Epoch Times.

“I won’t go through all of the ridiculous things here, but this is an attempt to challenge PA Supreme Court cases in October and mid-November,” he wrote in a blog post. “There is absolutely no excuse to have waited this long, and to have tried to sue after the electoral college slates voted.”

The consensus is that all this is indeed a controversy, but of the plaintiffs’ own making.

[Image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

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