Anticipating a similar outcome as the 2000 US elections, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden have assembled armies of powerful lawyers for the possibility that the race for the White House is decided not at the ballot box but in court. Back in 2000, the George Bush versus Al Gore contest was decided by the Supreme Court, which voted 5-4 and handed Bush the victory. Also Read - As Trump Begins to Concede, President-elect Joe Biden Carefully Picks Key Posts For His Cabinet
Currently, 300 cases have already been filed in states across the country. Dozens of attorneys for the Republicans and the Democrats are already clashing in courts over mailed-in ballot deadlines and other issues brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - Chinese Govt Advisor Calls Joe Biden 'Weak', Says 'A Democratic President Could Start Wars'
Experts say that much of the legal challenge this year could centre on Pennsylvania, widely considered a must-win for Trump. There is intense pressure on Trump to defend victories in a trinity of key battlegrounds – Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania – that led to his stunning 2016 victory. Also Read - Russian President Vladimir Putin Says He’s Not Ready To Recognise Joe Biden As US President
Over the weekend, Trump had also indicated that he would go to court over the validity of mailed ballots in Pennsylvania – especially those received in the three days after the election. Pennsylvania’s top court ordered an extension for mail-in ballots till Friday, November 6. Republicans moved to block the order, the Supreme Court left that order in place but did not rule out revisiting the decision.
Matthew Morgan, a longtime adviser to Vice President Mike Pence and now the Trump campaign’s general counsel, is leading the litigation strategy.
“We will have a sizable contingent of lawyers who will be ready to fend off any of the shenanigans that Democrats are trying,” Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign communications director, said last week.
On the Democratic side, the Biden campaign’s election protection program includes a special national litigation team involving hundreds of lawyers led by Walter Dellinger, acting solicitor general in the Clinton administration, and Donald Verrilli, a solicitor general under President Barack Obama, among others.
(With Agency inputs)