Administration

Trump argues full Supreme Court needed to settle potential election disputes

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President Trump argued Tuesday that his forthcoming nominee to the Supreme Court should receive a vote before the November election so that the high court will have nine justices to resolve election-related disputes. 

“We need nine justices. You need that with the unsolicited millions of ballots that they’re sending. It’s a scam,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House. “It’s a hoax. Everybody knows that, and the Democrats know it better than anybody else. So you’re going to need nine justices up there. I think it’s going to be very important because what they’re doing is a hoax with the ballots.” 

“Doing it before the election would be a very good thing because you’re going to probably see it because what they’re trying to do is sow confusion and everything else,” Trump continued. 

Trump has repeatedly made dubious claims about expanded mail-in voting inviting substantial fraud into the election. Experts say that there is not evidence of meaningful fraud in mail-in voting. Trump’s critics view it as an effort to cast doubt on the results of the election should he lose; Trump has also falsely claimed that the only way he will lose the election is if it is “rigged.”  

Other Republicans have advanced similar arguments in pushing for Trump’s nominee, whom he plans to announce Saturday, to receive a swift vote before Election Day. In a contentious interview on ABC News this weekend, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Fla.) suggested that Democrats could challenge the election results if Democratic nominee Joe Biden does not win. 

“We need a full court on Election Day given the very high likelihood that we’re going to see litigation that goes to the court. We need a Supreme Court that can give a definitive answer for the country,” Cruz said. 

Vice President Pence likewise raised the prospect of the Supreme Court having to weigh in on election-related issues in an interview on Fox Business on Tuesday afternoon. 

“With all the talk about universal, unsolicited mail-in balloting, where we see states around the country extending the deadline, there is a possibility that election issues may come before the Supreme Court in the days following the election,” Pence told Fox host Lou Dobbs. 

Trump said Tuesday he would announce his nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday. Republicans have not yet set out a clear timeline for the confirmation proceedings, but Trump has made clear that he wants a vote before the election, which is six weeks away. 

Most Republicans have lined up behind Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in moving forward with confirmation proceedings for Trump’s nominee, though at least two GOP senators oppose voting on the nomination before the election.

Democrats argue that the next president should nominate someone to fill the vacancy, pointing to Republicans’ decision not to hold a vote on then-President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland in 2016. 

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden Lou Dobbs mail-in voting Merrick Garland Mike Pence Mitch McConnell presidential election Ruth Bader Ginsburg Supreme Court Ted Cruz

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