President Donald Trump in the middle of the night launched a 45 minute Twitter tantrum that ended with an attack on the Supreme Court’s justices, one-third of whom he placed on the bench.
Trump clearly was furious about a recent ruling handed down by eight of the now-nine justices. The Court ruled that Pennsylvania and North Carolina can accept absentee ballots after Election Day.
The president went ballistic, threatening the nation’s top jurists.
“If Sleepy Joe Biden is actually elected President, the 4 Justices (plus1) that helped make such a ridiculous win possible would be relegated to sitting on not only a heavily PACKED COURT, but probably a REVOLVING COURT as well. At least the many new Justices will be Radical Left!”
The president is making clear not only that he is planning to contest the results of the election all the way to the Supreme Court, but that he fully expects the Court to hand him the win.
To be clear, unlike in some states, there is nothing in law that allows a presidential candidate to contest the results of an election. But Trump’s legal team, and Jared Kushner, reportedly have been planning how to take the election to the Court for months.
Experts weighed in.
Princeton professor Steven Strauss, who “has advised governments on public policy issues” responded:
Strange it is almost like Trump thinks SCOTUS selects the President and he does not believe these are non-partisan Justices — very odd https://t.co/xS1sh2GMNT
— Steven Strauss (@Steven_Strauss) October 30, 2020
ACLU attorney Josh Block mocked the president and his defenders:
Shameful that Democrats and progressives would sully the good names of principled originalist Justices by accusing them of doing exactly what the President who nominated them says they are doing. https://t.co/c0NvjwRjE6
— Josh Block (@JoshABlock) October 30, 2020
Joshua Geltzer, a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and a former Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the U.S. Department of Justice, among other government roles, slammed Trump’s attack as “mind-blowing”:
For a US President to attempt to pressure Supreme Court Justices into issuing a ruling handing him the election to avoid potentially unwanted new colleagues on the Court is … mind-blowing.
And yet very on brand for Trump: what’s in it for them, he asks, if I win?
His answer: pic.twitter.com/b7ksvnkirX
— Joshua A. Geltzer (@jgeltzer) October 30, 2020