The campaigns for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Republican President Donald Trump have suggested that the outcome of the election may be determined in court. Both are involved in litigation in multiple states, and preparing for an ultimate and potential battle at the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Monday, during a Joe Biden for President live stream campaign event, Jen O’Malley Dillon, his campaign manager, said, “under no scenario will Donald Trump be declared victor on election night.”
Biden officials also outlined election security issues and Biden’s victory plans for Tuesday night, and emphasized that Trump was planning on declaring himself the victor of the election before all the ballots were counted.
Dillon said that Trump’s demand that votes received after midnight on Election Day be thrown out “was the president just making things up,” as reported on by the Independent.
The Republican National Committee and Trump campaign’s “Protect the Vote” effort have warned for months that “Democrats are trying to use coronavirus and the courts to legalize ballot harvesting, implement a nationwide mail-in ballot system, and eliminate nearly every safeguard in our elections.”
The president said that his team “has lawyers,” but Democrats “have more lawyers than any human being has ever hired,” Fox News reports, adding that the Biden campaign’s massive “election protection program” includes former Attorney General Eric Holder and hundreds of other lawyers.
A coalition of “Lawyers for Trump” is being led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, California Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon and former Deputy White House Counsel Stefan Passantino in order to “protect the integrity” of the election.
“We’re going to go in [the] night of, as soon as that election is over, we’re going in with our lawyers,” Trump told reporters Sunday, referring to litigation over mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania and North Carolina being allowed to be counted up to one week after Election Day.
“I don’t think it’s fair that we have to wait a long period of time after the election. Should’ve gotten their ballots in a long time before that. Could’ve gotten their ballots in a month ago. I think it’s a ridiculous decision,” the president said, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision not to block state court orders allowing for extensions in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said she expects the “overwhelming majority” of ballots to be counted “in a few days’ time.” She confirmed that ballots received after Election Day will be separated from the rest, in case they are audited or ruled invalid.
In Minnesota, late-arriving ballots also will be separated by order of a federal appeals court due to ongoing litigation.
In Nevada, a state court judge ruled that a mail-in ballot process in Las Vegas could continue, the most populated Democratic stronghold in the state. In response, Trump campaign Nevada co-chairman Adam Laxalt, the state’s former attorney general, said an immediate appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court was being considered.
The coalition of Attorneys for Trump also includes former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, former Attorney General Ed Meese and the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
The Democrats’ national special litigation team includes former Solicitors General Donald Verrilli and Walter Dellinger, a group of attorneys from the law firm Perkins Coie, headed by Marc Elias, the former general counsel to the Obama-Biden campaigns in 2008 and 2012, Bob Bauer, and the Biden campaign’s general counsel, Dana Remus.
While Pennsylvania and North Caroline courts ruled to allow extending vote counts after Election Day, Maine Superior Court Justice William Stokes opposed extending such deadlines in his state.
“A judicial declaration that the statutory deadline is not really a deadline at all, and can be altered and extended for a week or more, risks undermining voter confidence that the law means what it says and that the voting and the election are over,” Stokes ruled.
The U.S. Supreme Court could ultimately determine the outcome of the elections in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and ultimately for the entire U.S. A Pennsylvania case before the Supreme Court is being battled between Donald Verrilli, former president Barack Obama’s Supreme Court attorney, and a high-ranking Trump Justice Department official, John Gore.
Roughly 300 lawsuits have already been filed over the 2020 elections at various levels in dozens of states across the country.