TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Could a recount, lawsuit or procedural maneuver upend the results of this year’s presidential election? Legal experts tell 8 On Your Side that Americans should expect more lawsuits challenging the vote and the count – but don’t expect them to work.
Remember that time when a presidential race was settled in the U.S. Supreme Court? With President Donald Trump’s campaign filing legal challenges and the U.S. Supreme Court’s new conservative 6-3 majority, you might be wondering: Could history repeat itself?
Robert Yablon, a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School whose research interests include political, election and constitutional law, doesn’t think so.
“Is there a scenario in which the Supreme Court could end up determining the outcome of this election?” Investigator Mahsa Saeidi asked him.
“As of now, the answer is no,” Professor Yablon said. “None of the lawsuits that we’ve seen filed so far seem like they’re lawsuits that could change the outcome.”
Unlike Bush vs. Gore, the Trump campaign is contesting the count in multiple states. The cases in Georgia and Michigan were tossed out by state judges on Thursday. As of Friday evening, there’s still active litigation in only two states: Nevada and Pennsylvania.
“They’ve been filing small-scale lawsuits that at least try to extend the ballgame, maybe in the hope that the margin will shrink in a particular state or that there will be some large-scale anomaly that emerges,” Professor Yablon explained. “Right now, they’re reaching the point where there are very few good options available.”
Few options because, with the exception of Georgia, former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead was growing Friday.
Professor Yablon believes President Trump’s best option is the Pennsylvania lawsuit challenging late-arriving mail-in ballots.
“Describing it as a longshot right now is exactly right,” Yablon said. “Those ballots could number in the thousands but, as of now, those ballots have not been counted at all and it may well be that even that number of ballots won’t be as large as Biden’s lead there.”
The bottom line is it’s unlikely President Trump could sue his way to victory if he loses this race.
President Trump released the following statement Friday:
“We believe the American people deserve to have full transparency into all vote counting and election certification, and that this is no longer about any single election. This is about the integrity of our entire election process. From the beginning we have said that all legal ballots must be counted and all illegal ballots should not be counted, yet we have met resistance to this basic principle by Democrats at every turn. We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government. I will never give up fighting for you and our nation.”
In the meantime, the Biden campaign says all of the lawsuits are entirely without merit.
LATEST FROM YOUR LOCAL ELECTION HEADQUARTERS:
- Vice President-elect Harris to resign her Senate seat Monday
- Harris to be sworn in by Justice Sotomayor at inauguration
- President Trump: ‘I will not be going to the Inauguration’
- Pence defies Trump, says he can’t reject electoral votes
- Biden to name judge Merrick Garland as attorney general
- Trump, on tape, presses Ga. official to ‘find’ him votes
- Despite Trump’s venting and threats, Biden’s win is sealed
- Trump’s 2020 election challenge not the same as 2000 Florida recount
- Here’s where the Trump campaign lawsuits stand after the race was called for Biden
- How do electors decide who to vote for? Key dates before Inauguration Day