José Miguel Gaspar
“The President’s effort has, for the moment, only a political and not a judicial dimension”, explains to JN expert Gomes André.
It is a blitzkreig, that is, a lightning war what the re-election campaign of the president Trump intends judicially: is trying to stop the vote counting in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona, calling for a recount at Wisconsin and challenging the handling of absentee ballot papers at Georgia. The Georgian lawsuit has already fallen: a local court has rejected the case against Chatham County Electoral Council, which involved 53 ballot papers, but Republicans promise “a dozen more actions” over 60,000 votes still pending.
The Trump campaign also opened a lawsuit at Michigan to stop the count, alleging that it had been denied “meaningful access” to its observers at the count. A state judge rejected it. The same requirement was filed in Pennsylvania, where a judge woke Republican observers to an approach of six to two meters. Another bid was launched at Nevada, with the allegation that ten thousand votes from people no longer living in the state entered.
“This effort by Trump only has, for the time being, a political dimension and not a judicial one; one thing is the desire of the president, who goes after the election and seems desperate, and another is the legal path that needs to be taken and that has rules,” says JN Gomes André, professor of political philosophy at the University of Lisbon.
“The courts evaluate complaints and concrete cases, not theses or wishes. A complaint in court has to have evidence, witnesses, real facts”, says the Americanophile.
Supreme? Not yet
The election can go to Supreme Court, where the Republicans have a 6-3 majority in judges? “It can go to but not yet, as Trump apparently intends; the Supreme is not a court of first instance and the local courts first act,” warns Gomes André. “Again: complaints of fraud, inaccuracy or bad handling of bulletins are processes that require proof. But the president seems to have the will to try everything”.