Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Amy Coney Barrett speaks as President Donald Trump listens during an announcement ceremony at the White House on September 26, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Amy Coney Barrett speaks as President Donald Trump listens during an announcement ceremony at the White House on September 26, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images)

'Hopefully Amy Coney Barrett Will Come Through': Trump Legal Adviser Admits Campaign Is Pining for Supreme Court Rescue

"The GOP is telling the nation, on cable television, that it installed its 6-3 Supreme Court majority in order to steal elections. Believe them."

Jake Johnson

With the Trump campaign frantically attempting to challenge vote-counting procedures in several battleground states where the president's early leads have evaporated, a prominent conservative attorney and co-chair of Lawyers for Trump openly admitted in a television interview Thursday that the campaign's ultimate hope is for newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett to "come through" and decide the election.

"Republicans consider the Supreme Court their insurance policy for when they lose elections."
—Brian Fallon, Demand Justice

Harmeet Dhillon, a legal adviser to the Trump campaign, said in an appearance on Fox Business that "we're waiting for the United States Supreme Court—of which the president has nominated three justices—to step in and do something."

"And hopefully Amy Coney Barrett will come through and pick it up," added Dhillon, who parroted the president's baseless claims of suspicious activity by election officials in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. "There's no guarantee of that... so we have to fight this on the ground and make sure that we challenge in every place, and we are."

Watch:

Dhillon's remarks were viewed as a frank admission by a Trump campaign surrogate that the incumbent, with his path to victory through the democratic process narrowing rapidly, is desperately counting on the high court—and, in particular, a justice he and the Republican Senate installed just over a week before Election Day—to intervene and secure his reelection.

Trump himself said as much in the early hours of Wednesday morning, declaring, "We want the law to be used in the proper manner. So we'll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court."

"The GOP is telling the nation, on cable television, that it installed its 6-3 Supreme Court majority in order to steal elections," tweeted Rep.-elect Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.). "Believe them."

Brian Fallon, executive director of advocacy group Demand Justice, said Dhillon's comments represented further evidence that "Republicans consider the Supreme Court their insurance policy for when they lose elections."

The problem for the Trump campaign's stated last-ditch strategy of relying on the Supreme Court, as Buzzfeed's Zoe Tillman explained Thursday, is that "the lawsuits filed by the campaign so far don't present the kind of election-defining legal questions the court would be likely to take up; plus, it wasn't clear if the one case already pending before the court would be relevant to who wins."

"Pennsylvania Republicans are challenging a state Supreme Court order that extended the deadline for election officials to accept absentee ballots, from Election Day to Nov. 6," Tillman noted. "Trump's campaign filed a request this week to join the case at the U.S. Supreme Court to back the state GOP's position. But that case would only become another Bush v. Gore... if the election comes down to Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes, and if the number of ballots that arrived between Nov. 3 and Nov. 6 are large enough to affect the final tally."

Other legal challenges the Trump campaign has brought thus far have been laughably weak, coming nowhere close to substantiating the president's claim of a sprawling Democratic conspiracy to deny him the election through mass ballot fraud.

The Washington Post summarized the outcomes of a pair of suits the campaign filed after Election Day in Georgia and Michigan:

In Georgia, a local judge in Chatham County, home of Savannah, denied the Trump campaign's effort to disqualify ballots that a Republican poll watcher claimed may have arrived after the 7 pm deadline on Election Day. In court, the poll watcher offered no evidence that the ballots had arrived late, and county election officials testified that they had arrived on time.

And in Michigan, a Court of Claims judge said she would deny the campaign's request for an emergency halt to the counting of votes in the state. She noted that the request made little sense, given that the counting has essentially been finished in the state, with former vice president Joe Biden ahead by about 150,000 votes. He has been declared the winner of the state by national news organizations. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson's office described Trump's request as an "attempt to unring a bell."

On Thursday, a federal judge in Pennsylvania—where the president holds an increasingly slim lead as counting continues—dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit alleging that Philadelphia officials are not allowing Republican election observers sufficient access during the ballot tabulation process.

Judge Paul Diamond of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, a George W. Bush appointee, made little effort to hide his annoyance with the Trump campaign's flimsy complaint throughout a hearing on the suit Thursday.

When Diamond pressed a Trump campaign lawyer on whether Republican observers are currently present at the counting site, the attorney responded: "There's a non-zero number of people in the room." Asked once more to provide a clear answer, the Trump campaign attorney said, "Yes."

"I'm sorry," Diamond responded, "then what's your problem?"


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Biden Drilling Report Blasted as 'Shocking Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters'

"Greenlighting more fossil fuel extraction, then pretending it's OK by nudging up royalty rates, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


UNESCO Members Adopt First Global AI Ethics Agreement 'To Benefit Humanity'

"We're at a critical juncture in history," said Ethics in Tech founder Vahid Razavi. "We need as humans to come together and decide what is the best course of action to take with these technologies before they surpass us in their abilities."

Brett Wilkins ·


Progressive US Lawmakers Mark Black Friday With Calls to Pass the PRO Act

"The right to organize, fight for better working conditions, and fair pay must always be protected."

Jessica Corbett ·


'We Are Fighting Back': Global Black Friday Strikes and Protests Seek to #MakeAmazonPay

"We are workers and activists divided by geography and our role in the global economy but united in our commitment to Make Amazon Pay fair wages, its taxes, and for its impact on the planet."

Kenny Stancil ·


'It Was Entirely Avoidable': Rich Countries Blamed as New Covid Variant Sparks Global Alarm

"Allowing new variants to emerge and spread, 13 months into the vaccine era, is a policy choice by the rich world."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo