Trump Takes Election Results To Court



Joslyn Varkey, Staff Writer

Since November 3rd, President Trump and his supporters have filed a flurry of cases against several states, aiming to sway election results. In the past 72 hours, they have faced countless setbacks and losses in the state of Pennsylvania regarding this matter. Trump’s legal team has yet to focus on a specific state or address a specific issue. The majority of the cases the President has filed are with the state of Pennsylvania. His campaign has been working tirelessly to convince his supporters that the results of the election are fraudulent and the election itself was rigged. Not one judge has agreed with that sentiment and granted him a legal victory. As early as Friday, state and federal judges in the state of Pennsylvania have thrown away Trump’s challenges to numerous groups of ballots. Despite Trump’s efforts, Biden is still leading Pennsylvania by over 68,000 votes. Judges have also questioned that validity of Trump’s efforts to stop the state from officially declaring Biden the winner, as seeing it is baseless and cannot be proven.

Just one day after Election Day, the President announced he would be taking the results to the Supreme Court in a fashion similar to Bush v. Gore. In Bush v. Gore, the justices ruled in Bush’s favor and called to halt a recount in Florida, giving victory to the former president. Bush’s case had more of a legal standing than Trump’s. He would have to find multiple reasons to change the results from numerous states that his opponent won. The only case currently pending in front of the Supreme Court is one involved with the 10,000 ballots that arrived in Pennsylvania after Election Day. On Sunday, Trump and his campaign filed another lawsuit against Pennsylvania which cut down some of their previous accusations and acknowledged they were baseless. A conservative advocacy group, True the Vote, had previously filed lawsuits challenging Biden’s victory in several states, one of which was Pennsylvania, but on Monday they withdrew those cases.

The campaign hasn’t lost every case though. However, in the cases that they have won, their victory made no difference to the election results. In Pennsylvania, a state court ruled in favor of the campaign saying that Secretary of State, Kathleen Boockvar, was wrong in extending the deadline for voters whose ballots arrived after Election Day. Only 10,000 votes had come in during the period, which was not enough to flip Pennsylvania towards a Trump victory. In the two weeks before Election Day, a group of Republican voters stationed in Pennsylvania and a congressional candidate filed a suit calling the constitutionality of a state Supreme Court decision to extend the deadline for absentee ballots. They lost the case and filed an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. This case also affected a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The court found that private parties did not have a valid podium to begin a claim to a federal court arguing that an election practice violated the Constitution. The 3rd Circuit ruled that the Pennsylvania General Assembly could make the argument in court, but not individual voters or candidates.

The President’s campaign filed a smaller case involving 592 mail in ballots in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. It mainly concerned the portion of the ballots where the voter didn’t hand write their address on the section of the envelope where they signed a statement stating that they were eligible to vote. The campaign claimed these ballots were invalid because it violated a section of state election law requiring them to “fill out” the statement.. The county responded, arguing the law didn’t require an address to be fulfilled and the presiding judge agreed. The judge later said that the lack of a handwritten address with the statement would not disqualify an eligible voter from casting a ballot. Even if the campaign has won, the outcome would not be changed. Biden won Montgomery County by over 133,000 votes. His campaign suffered another loss in Philadelphia, where a judge ruled against his campaign in five separate cases that challenged 8,300 ballots. Similarly to the Montgomery County case, the campaign didn’t claim fraud but once again argued that the ballots were missing information, rendering them invalid. All the voters in this case had signed their ballots and the judge ruled that the missing pieces of information were not enough to disqualify the ballots. That information was not “necessary to prevent fraud.” On Saturday, the campaign filed notices claiming it would appeal these rulings. Just like the case in Montgomery County, a Trump victory would not change the outcome in the city of Philadelphia, where Biden won by over 450,000 votes.

Despite Trump’s best efforts to delay the results of the election, judges have widely ruled against him. His cases were found to have no legal basis and even in the cases he won, they did not affect the outcome of the election. On November 7th, the election was called and Joe Biden was announced as the projected winner. Biden and Harris won in a landslide, 306 to 232.  Joe Biden will the be the oldest president America has seen and the second Catholic one while his running mate, Kamala Harris,  will be the first, biracial, black, and Indian-American female to hold the office of Vice President. The history making duo are set to take office on January 20th.