According to University of Washington political science professor Jake Grumbach, there is a political logic to Trump’s strategy.
Trump will claim that judges are persecuting him if he loses in court.
At least 38 Republican-appointed judges, including numerous Trump appointments, issued decisions that rejected the former president’s allegations that the 2020 election was rigged, which was a critical factor in the failure of his attempt to prevent Joe Biden from entering office.
Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University, pointed out that Trump’s allies and comments about the 2020 election and the Mar-a-Lago search have been legally absurd.
“Former senior Justice Department official David Laufman claimed that Trump poses an existential danger to American democracy.
The Supreme Court denied former president Donald Trump’s plea for the court to become involved in the legal dispute over the records taken from his Mar-a-Lago property in a bland, one-sentence decision on Thursday. The decision was made on the same day that Trump was summoned to testify before Congress regarding his actions on January 6 by the House select committee looking into the uprising. In response, Trump released a ten-page addendum to a four-page statement in which he erroneously claimed that the 2020 election was “rigged and stolen,” denigrated the committee members as “very partisan political hacks and thugs,” and promised retaliation. In his letter, Trump stated that “the people of our Country will not stand for unequal application of the law or Liberty and Justice for some.” “Voting day is approaching. We demand explanations for Century Crime.
The former President’s defeat before the Supreme Court was expected. Legal experts had predicted that the Court would most likely deny his request to allow his lawyers access to the 103 classified documents that Justice Department officials believed to be the most delicate of the nearly 11,000 obtained. Additionally, his attorneys maintained that the federal appeals court that recently rendered a decision against Trump lacked the necessary jurisdiction. Before the Supreme Court’s decision, Steve Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, argued that Trump relied on a highly complex legal argument to seek the Court for relief that was “so little as to make it nearly difficult to comprehend.” Simply put, the Supreme Court expedition is likely to amount to very little since his lawyers are (smartly) sticking to realistic legal arguments rather than their client’s and his supporters’ conspiracy fantasies.
Even though he has appointed a third of the Court’s Justices, Trump’s legal manoeuvres have so far failed. The Court dismissed numerous challenges to the 2020 election that were supported by Trump and his plea to deny the January 6th committee access to particular White House records. But Trump’s frantic search for supportive judges will go on indefinitely. Earlier this week, Vladeck told me, “I firmly doubt it’s the end.” “He has little reason not to try to appeal each of his losses to the Supreme Court—not because his chances of winning are strong, but because it serves to both postpone and obscure the unfavourable verdicts against him in the lower courts,” the article states.
According to University of Washington political science professor Jake Grumbach, there is a political logic to Trump’s strategy. The former President benefits politically from never-ending legal battles in state and municipal courts, federal courts, and the Supreme Court. He will claim that the Justice Department and the F.B.I. are pursuing him if a judge rules in his favour. Trump will claim that judges are persecuting him if he loses in court. In his final months in office, Trump selected Aileen Cannon as a federal judge in Florida. She appears to have made favourable decisions repeatedly, earning praise from the former President’s fans. On Friday, the Justice Department requested that one of those rulings be overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta.
Grumbach forewarned that authoritarian leaders have attempted to delegitimize their countries’ courts in the eyes of the general public—or, at the very least, of their most ardent supporters—by using similar strategies. The political dynamic of a political strongman claiming that he is being persecuted and that the rule of law shouldn’t apply to him is also present, according to Grumbach. This is a typical historical trait of authoritarian rule. According to a piece by my colleague Andrew Marantz, President Viktor Orbán of Hungary did not consolidate power by closing down the courts but by steadily undermining and discrediting them. A judge overseeing investigations into corruption by members of Viktor Orbán’s party has been threatened with dismissal by his government, which has denounced judges who ruled against him as “traitors.”
Legal analysts believe that whether the United States leaves the Trump era or continues down an authoritarian path will be primarily determined by court decisions made between now and the 2024 election. In a unanimous decision in 1974, the Supreme Court held that President Richard Nixon could not refuse to turn up the information requested by a criminal investigator during the Watergate affair, notable tapes made in the Oval Office. The decision, supported by four Justices Nixon selected, contributed to his downfall. At least 38 Republican-appointed judges, including numerous Trump appointments, issued decisions that rejected the former president’s allegations that the 2020 election was rigged, which was a critical factor in the failure of his attempt to prevent Joe Biden from entering office. Out of a total of about eight hundred federal judges, Vladeck stated that the 226 current federal judges who Trump appointed had a crucial duty to safeguard democracy and the independence of the judiciary. The fact that he is losing not only in court but also in front of the judges and Justices he nominated is crucial, according to Vladeck. “When his appointees are participating in the rulings against him, it’s harder for him to depict himself as the victim of a court that is out to get him.”
Judges Britt C. Grant and Andrew L. Brasher, two Trump appointees on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, joined Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum, a Barack Obama appointee, in overturning judgments made by Judge Cannon last month that essentially put an end to the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into whether Trump had improperly handled classified documents. The three-judge panel rejected Trump’s claim that he declassified the records as president as having “no evidence,” and another of his legal defences was labelled a “red herring.” Vladeck claimed that the appointment of two of those justices by Trump appeared to lessen opposition to the decision from the former President’s supporters. It’s difficult to believe that Trump and his backers wouldn’t have talked more about who appointed the justices and why they can’t be trusted if the Eleventh Circuit panel had a different makeup, the author continued.
Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University, pointed out that Trump’s allies and comments about the 2020 election and the Mar-a-Lago search have been legally absurd. This is another reason for Trump’s legal woes. He informed me that “in some instances, Trump and his supporter’s present arguments so weak that practically any judge would reject them.” However, court judgments against him have not significantly impacted Trump’s political base. Despite the unanimous denial of Trump’s fraudulent assertions about the 2020 election, polls indicate that most Republicans do not think Joe Biden was rightfully elected President.
According to University of Chicago law professor Aziz Huq, no matter what decisions the courts make, they cannot end the nation’s polarisation on their own. “In a world where over the last 25 years the national political scene has become more polarised, the Court, no matter what it does, is going to be seen as biassed on one side or the other,” he said. Regarding the current Court, that is incredibly accurate. According to a study conducted earlier this month, only 40% of Americans have expressed satisfaction with its performance. However, Huq continued, the courts in general, colleges, and the media perform a crucial and beneficial role in a democracy by establishing the foundational facts required for meaningful political discussion. For instance, the courts decide whether a government programme has successfully minimised public harm, whether a person is guilty or innocent of a crime, and whether legislation is constitutional or not. Huq stated, “A standard view of democracy is that it’s not simply about having elections. “So that we can debate fact, you also need several organisations giving ground truth.”
Former senior Justice Department official David Laufman claimed that Trump poses an existential danger to American democracy. Vladeck concurred that it is essential for justices selected by Trump, especially those on the Supreme Court, to continue to rule against him when appropriate. He also cautioned that Trump would appoint more supporters to the judiciary if he were to retake the White House. If the court becomes a political tool rather than an impartial arbiter of fact who decides without fear or favour, Laufman added, “I can’t think of anything that would be more damaging to American democracy.” “We might survive the harm of the last four years, but if Trump appointed judges, including justices of the Supreme Court, for another four years, we would be toast,” said one observer.
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network