We’re getting lots of bravado last night and this morning from Team Trump, including the captain of the team himself, after last night’s utterly predictable loss at the Supreme Court. The unanimous decision rejecting any of Texas’ demanded remedies (and a 7-2 loss on taking the case at all) should be, as Allahpundit described it last night, the endgame. And yet, they’re pledging to fight on, including this declaration from Trump this morning:
WE HAVE JUST BEGUN TO FIGHT!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2020
His lead attorney went on television last night pledging the same thing. Rudy Giuliani told Sean Hannity that his team will now shift its focus to the state courts, where he claimed Trump had never been given a chance to present his evidence:
“The legal path [is] in the state courts and you have to hope that the justices in the state court are going to show somewhat more determination, somewhat more willingness, to be willing to take some degree of criticism and somewhat more willingness to have an open mind,” Giuliani said.
“That’s all we’re asking to do,” Giuliani continued. “We’re just asking them to hear the facts. Let the American people—let the American people hear the facts and let the judges hear the facts. So far the facts have been oppressed. They’ve been subject to censorship—censorship by big media, censorship by big tech, censorship by the Democrat Party and censorship by the courts. No court has granted a hearing.”
That is a big, fat lie. Team Trump got a full hearing in several states in which they presented their affidavits and analyses, especially in Nevada. In that court, Judge James Russell allowed them to present even inadmissible evidence, and then in his ruling systematically dismantled every piece of their case. The Nevada Supreme Court then endorsed Russell’s findings of fact and law while pointing out that Team Trump never bothered to fix the issues raised by Russell in their appeal.
Trump’s team got hearings in other states too, most notably in Pennsylvania, where Giuliani infamously retreated from claims of fraud. Their claims were also heard in Michigan, where they went nowhere despite the oft-proclaimed affidavits that turned out to be nothing much at all. (Read Texas’ Supreme Court complaint and the rebuttals from those states for citations.) And yesterday, Team Trump lost after presenting their case in a Wisconsin state court, too:
A judge in Wisconsin on Friday rejected President Trump’s challenge to the state’s recount and affirmed Wisconsin’s certified results showing President-elect Joe Biden won the state by more than 20,600 votes. The Trump campaign has filed an appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which is expected to hear arguments on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.
Reserve Judge Stephen Simanek said election officials followed the state’s voting laws and that Mr. Trump failed to demonstrate that laws were erroneously interpreted. This is the latest loss in a string of legal defeats for the president and his allies who have challenged the results of the election in courts across several battleground states.
In their challenge to the recount, the Mr. Trump’s lawyers tried to throw out more than 220,000 absentee ballots that it claims were illegally cast by voters in Dane and Milwaukee counties. These ballots included the following: those cast during early in-person absentee voting which the Trump campaign claimed lacked proper written applications; ballots cast by people who improperly claimed they were indefinitely confined, which meant the voters didn’t have to provide photo ID; absentee ballots where clerks filled in missing witness address information, a practice that’s been in place since 2016; and ballots returned to parks in Madison. …
“At issue here simply is whether or not the recount occurred in compliance with the Wisconsin election laws,” Judge Simanek said, noting this wasn’t about alleged widespread fraud. “The determination of the court is that the petitioner, appellants here have not demonstrated that an erroneous interpretation of Wisconsin’s early voting laws happened here.”
Simanek pointed out that Trump’s attorneys, as in Pennsylvania, never made a case that those votes were fraudulent either. The Wisconsin state supreme court is meeting today to hear the appeal on this case. It’s not likely to succeed, to say the least, especially given the track record on factual presentation by Giuliani’s team and especially since they never alleged fraud. Even if one is inclined to agree that rules shouldn’t have been changed, that’s not a reason to punish the voters that relied in good faith on the rules in the election at the time if Trump can’t prove those votes as fraudulent — rules which, Simanek also points out, the Trump campaign never challenged prior to the election.
For those reasons and more, there really isn’t much left to fight after the Supreme Court’s decision last night. Even if Trump won an election challenge in one of these state courts for the first time, the state and Joe Biden would appeal upward too, and what happens then? The federal appellate courts have been brutal to the demand that election results be cancelled and legislatures directed to pick new electors. No court is going to throw out elections certified by the states where the challengers have lost every case they’ve argued, especially not federal courts, as the Supreme Court made excruciatingly clear last night. Last night’s abrupt dismissal on standing and the clear impression of a unanimous rejection of Texas’ remedies certainly hints to lower courts that pursuing the latter would be an exercise in futility. It may not be official precedent, but … come on, man. It’s over.
As everyone knew on November 4th, too. Other than the recounts and the legitimate debate over bureaucratic changes to election processes, all of this has been entirely futile right from the beginning. It’s been a fantasy spun by sore losers and grifters in service of themselves rather than the voters. And it needs to stop, because it’s over, and has been for well over a month.
So what did happen in the 2020 election? How did Trump lose while adding millions of votes to his total from 2016? It’s fairly simple: we had a high-turnout election that Republicans largely won. The turnout can be attributed to high political engagement because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the wave of riots and spiking crime across the country. People had fewer distractions, and the mail-in balloting gave them more access to voting in the fall than to other activities like concerts, bars, churches, movies, and vacations. Republicans won down-ballot because of the chaos in the streets, while Joe Biden won at the top because he successfully Rope-a-Doped Trump into making the presidential election about his behavior. Biden’s affability was a big improvement over Hillary Clinton’s entitled personality, and this time he stayed out of Trump’s own way.
It doesn’t take a conspiracy theory to explain Trump’s loss. And now that Team Trump has had numerous opportunities to challenge the election in part by pushing these theories and failing to prove their case, it’s time to accept the results and focus on what comes next — especially in Georgia.