Supporters continue to insist the election was ‘stolen’ even as the electoral college prepares to confirm Joe Biden’s victory
Donald Trump lost a federal court challenge on Saturday in Wisconsin while judges said yet another case being fought there “smacks of racism”.
The slap-downs came less than 24 hours after the abrupt dismissal by the US supreme court of the most audacious Republican attempt yet to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the election almost six weeks ago.
But despite the latest stinging legal defeats and rebukes, Trump took to the skies in the Marine One presidential helicopter on Saturday on his way to an engagement in New York and flew above a protest of several hundred diehard supporters in Washington DC, who persist in bolstering his false claims that the election was “stolen” from him by fraud and conspiracy.
And a trickle of Republicans joined leading Democrats in speaking up about the increasing futility but also the insidiousness of the lame-duck president’s aggressive clinging to power.
After the supreme court decision, Christine Todd Whitman, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, said of the Trump campaign challenges to the election result: “It is now truly over. Trump and his acolytes need to stop all efforts to deny millions of votes.”
More than 120 Republican members of the House of Representatives wrote an amicus brief to the supreme court last week in support of the lawsuit brought by Texas, which had been joined by Trump and aimed to overturn Biden’s victory in four key swing states, which the court on Friday night abruptly refused to consider.
Michael Steele, the former chair of the Republican National Committee, called the effort “an affront to the country”.
“It’s an offense to the constitution and it leaves an indelible stain that will be hard for these 126 members to wipe off their political skin,” he told the New York Times.
In Wisconsin on Saturday, the US district judge Brett Ludwig dismissed one of Trump’s latest lawsuits there that asked the court to order the state’s Republican-controlled legislature to name him as the winner, whereas in fact Biden won Wisconsin on his way to winning the White House.
Even as Ludwig said Trump’s arguments “fail as a matter of law and fact” an attorney for the president, Jim Troupis, was busy arguing in another case, before a skeptical Wisconsin state supreme court, a lawsuit that, if successful, would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters in Wisconsin’s most diverse counties, Dane and Milwaukee, where Biden won.
Trump is not challenging any votes in Wisconsin counties that he won.
“This lawsuit, Mr Troupis, smacks of racism,“ the justice Jill Karofsky said to Trump’s attorney early in his arguments.
“I do not know how you can come before this court and possibly ask for a remedy that is unheard of in US history … It is not normal,” she added.
One of Karofsky’s fellow judges in that case, where a decision is now awaited, pointed out that Trump also did not make such challenges when he won Wisconsin on his way to the White House in 2016.
Trump and his allies have already suffered many dozens of defeats in Wisconsin and across the country in lawsuits that rely on unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud and election abuse.
The New York state attorney general, Letitia James, who was among the 23 attorneys general who asked the highest court to reject Texas’s lawsuit, said in a statement: “The supreme court has denied Texas’ efforts to invalidate the results of the 2020 election, and Americans across the country can rest assured that the will of the people will be heard.”
James continued: “The court’s decision to throw out these ridiculous claims ensures the integrity of our elections are protected and that election cannot simply be overturned because we disagree with the results.”
James will be involved in the official confirmation of Trump’s loss in the 3 November election.
“On Monday, I and other members of the electoral college across the nation will fulfil our constitutional duty and take the final step to ensure that Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States and that Kamala Harris becomes the 49th vice-president of the United States,” she said.
Chris Sununu, the Republican governor of New Hampshire, indicated that this should be the end of the road for Trump’s campaign to fight the result.
“What happened with the supreme court, that’s kind of it, where they’ve kind of exhausted all the legal challenges. We’ve got to move on,” he told CNN.
He called for the Trump administration and the US Congress, instead, to address the coronavirus crisis, which has never been brought under control and has killed more than 3,300 people in the last 24 hours, and get the new vaccine delivered to the people.
The president’s dubious coat of arms at his Scottish golf courses, as the Atlantic magazine has pointed out, may sport the motto “Numquam concedere” – Latin for “never concede” – but the mantra increasingly conveys less a sense of indomitability than dangerous desperation.
Michael Waldman, the president of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University school of law and the author of The Fight to Vote, said: “The courts have been very, very clear in rejecting Trump’s efforts to undo the 2020 election … It’s actually a rather striking unanimity of rulings.”
The litigation’s implications were worrisome for American democracy, however.
“Clearly, there is a very strong and previously unseen anti-Democratic impulse in the United States that can way too easily be activated, and this is going to be a big fight for years,” he said.
He added: “It’s just appalling what Trump and the Republicans have done.”
SOURCE: Guardian News