Impeached two-time popular vote loser, lame duck Donald Trump continues his quest in the courts, filing yet another lawsuit in Pennsylvania, this time to invalidate the whole of the election there, disenfranchising every voter—even his own. The tell on these cases, the thing that shows that they are simply nuisance cases designed to drag this whole thing out because Trump is an autocrat and won't leave, is that none of them actually would change the results of the election. There aren't enough votes in dispute, even in all the cases combined, to flip it to him.
The furthest advanced case, already essentially blessed by Justice Samuel Alito on the U.S. Supreme Court, is the one to have the SCOTUS toss all of the Pennsylvania mail-in ballots that were received after Election Day, in the extended deadline approved by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. There are only 7,800 of those ballots among 67 of the state's 71 counties, according to Jacklin Rhoads, spokeswoman for Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Joe Biden is more than 45,000 votes ahead in Pennsylvania. There aren't going to be 38,000 Trump votes in those last four counties.
"If those ballots couldn't change the election to make any difference to how Pennsylvania will be decided, then he doesn't have a claim he can bring," Deborah Hellman, a University of Virginia law professor told Bloomberg. In fact, even if he prevailed in the latest ridiculous case in federal court, in which he's trying to get the whole of Pennsylvania's vote tossed and with it Biden's 20 electoral votes, he'd also have to find a way to scrabble together wins in at least one and possibly two of the other close states. "The prospects that a legal challenge in court could reverse the outcome in a way that would produce a Trump victory get harder and harder if it's not just one state that he has to flip," said Steven Huefner, deputy director of an election-law program at Ohio State University. "A challenge in a single state is a long shot. Then he's got three long shots, or something, that he has to make all in succession."
This one is a Rudy Giuliani brain child, and he says they might try to do similar challenges of huge numbers of ballot in Michigan and Wisconsin. Maybe because Trump doesn't want to pay for recounts. He can stiff his lawyers, but the states have to have the money up front to do recounts. The cases are simply groundless. "A court would not set aside the results of an election, or particular votes, based on violations of laws concerning observation of the counting process," Michael Morley, an assistant law professor at Florida State University, told Bloomberg. He's worked on election litigation in Florida. He knows. "Courts will not disturb election results based on unproven generalized claims about the theoretical possibility of fraud."
Like in Arizona, where the Trump campaign's allegations that voters were allowed to "overvote" on ballots and should be disqualified but weren't in Maricopa County. There were 155,860 votes cast in Maricopa on Election Day, and of all of those, there were 180 potential overvotes on the presidential line, according to the county's attorney, Thomas Liddy. One hundred and eighty votes. Trump is suing over 180 ballots. Biden is ahead in the state by more than 14,700 votes. Yeah, that's a nuisance suit.
There is a danger, however in the case that the U.S. Supreme Court has already meddled in. On Monday, a group of 10 Republican state attorneys general filed an amicus brief to support Pennsylvania Republicans efforts to the the court say that they—not their state's Supreme Court—have supremacy in determining election laws. They argue that the state Supreme Court did not have the authority to extend the mail-in ballot deadline. This is playing a long game, to say a Republican legislature has ultimate say on election laws, over the state’s supreme court. That opens the possibility of Republican legislatures to further erode voting rights without the check of state supreme courts. They're looking well beyond Trump, and the U.S. Supreme Court has given them that opening.