Trump said he needed nine justices on the court to help him when he files lawsuits against counting absentee ballots.
Donald Trump on Tuesday said the reason he needs to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court ahead of the election is because he needs another justice to rule in his favor if he challenges the counting of absentee ballots.
Trump's campaign has filed numerous lawsuits to try to make it harder for Americans to vote this fall, trying to ban the expansion of voting by mail in the midst of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, as well as trying to block the use of ballot drop boxes that make it easier for voters to hand their absentee ballots in without fear of U.S. Postal Service delays invalidating their vote.
"We need nine justices. You need that. With the unsolicited millions of ballots that they're sending — it's a scam, it's a hoax, everybody knows that and the Democrats know it better than anybody else. So you're gonna need 9 justices up there," Trump said Tuesday before a campaign trip to Pennsylvania, where he held another rally for supporters who mostly disregarded social distancing guidelines meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
"I think it's going to be very important, because what they're doing is a hoax with the ballots, they're sending out tens of millions of ballots, unsolicited, not where they're being asked, unsolicited, so you're going to need to have nine justices. So doing it before the election would be a very good thing, because you're going to probably see it," Trump added.
Trump has been spewing lies about absentee ballots — which he himself has used multiple times to vote — falsely saying that the voting method is rife with fraud.
But he's admitted publicly that his real reason for trying to stop the increase in voting by mail is because he believes making it easier to vote will help Democrats — even though there is no evidence that the voting method benefits either party.
Mike Pence on Tuesday echoed Trump's call for a ninth justice to be confirmed before the election because a ninth justice may be needed to resolve lawsuits the Trump campaign files to try to invalidate the will of the voters.
Pence told Fox Business host Lou Dobbs that a justice needs to be confirmed fast, with a hearing "if needs be." Confirming a lifetime Supreme Court justice without a hearing would be a willful disregard of the Senate's constitutional duty to provide "advice and consent" on judicial nominees.
"We have major issues in the country today and ... with all of the talk about universal unsolicited mail-in balloting, we see states across the country extending the deadline, there is a possibility that election issues may come before the Supreme Court in the days before the election, and all the more reason why we should have nine justices on the Supreme Court to be able to resolve any issues that may arise then or on any other matter," Pence said.
Democrats have been warning that Trump may try to overturn the will of the voters with lawsuits, setting forth a constitutional crisis.
And Trump seemed to come out to admit that's his play right out in the open with his Tuesday comments.
"The president is falsely suggesting widespread fraud and suggesting the need for judicial intervention so he can win," Brendan Nyhan, a professor of political science at Dartmouth University, tweeted. "Happening right in front of us."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.