How Giuliani's tactics derailed Trump's dreams of the Supreme Court saving him

How Giuliani's tactics derailed Trump's dreams of the Supreme Court saving him
President Donald J. Trump poses for a photo with Supreme Court Associate Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Clarence Thomas in the Cross Hall of the White House Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after attending Barrett's swearing-in ceremony as Supreme Court Associate Justice. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

The Trump legal follies continue unabated, down a team member who managed to actually become too unhinged for the Giuliani team. (Amazing but true.) Because, as you may have noticed, Trump didn't really bring the best legal minds available to this fight. For example, the attorney leading his recount effort in Wisconsin who is trying to throw out in-person absentee ballots—including his own and his wife's ballots. He is now arguing that he and his wife voted illegally, along with all the others who voted early in person. That also includes Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman Andrew Hitt. While the ridiculous continues in Wisconsin, the big prizes for Trump are Michigan and Pennsylvania, both of which are scheduled to certify their votes Monday. While Trump has been relying on Republican state allies in both states to help with his coup attempt, he's also hoping to take a Pennsylvania case to the Supreme Court.

That's the case federal Judge Matthew Brann dismissed on Saturday, calling it a "Frankenstein's Monster" of "strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations." It's the case Rudy Giuliani argued, for want of a better term, last week. Giuliani clowned his way through the hearing, either because he doesn't know how to practice law anymore or because he intended to lose this one, his "vehicle" to get the Supreme Court to install Trump as president for life. Or whatever.

To that end, Team Trump filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit so full of legal gobbledegook that the lead Democratic attorney just said "I'm not going to even try to describe it." Curiously, the thrust of this appeal seems to procedural—Trump's lawyers are appealing a decision from district Judge Matthew Brann to not allow them to amend a filing that they had screwed up in the transfer of the case from the real lawyers to Giuliani's team. Which, if they win, just sends the case back to Brann, where he can unload on them again. It wouldn't go to the Supreme Court, so maybe it's a ploy to get Brann to decertify the election results? Who knows. Brann already said that he "has no authority to take away the right to vote of even a single person, let alone millions of citizens," so that's not going to happen.

Nevertheless, the Third Circuit will consider the appeal, with Team Trump ordered to file a brief by 4 PM Monday, and the Democrats' lawyers at 4 PM Tuesday. As of now, oral arguments have not been scheduled. What exactly Giuliani and team are doing is not clear. They haven't tried to stop certification, and the appeal could only send the case back to Brann, not up to the Supreme Court. It's a mystery.


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