The Electoral College has cast its votes today, handing the victory to Donald Trump with very few defectors. History will record that the five hundred and thirty eight members of that body had an opportunity to prevent an unfit and unstable Russian puppet from taking power, and failed to do its solemn duty. But it’s still not a given that Trump will take office. In fact, now that the voting has taken place, the matter can be put in front of the Supreme Court – and in fact there is existing precedent for it to overturn the election.
As was documented in a Palmer Report article just before the Electoral College voted, various entities including Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig have been attempting to establish that Donald Trump is constitutionally disqualified from being eligible to be President. If he or another individual makes a move to put the election in front of the Supreme Court, it can issue essentially any ruling it wants.
There is a lower court ruling from twenty years ago which saw federal court overturning a state election due to its illegitimacy. At the time, the Supreme Court declined to intervene, allowing the lower court ruling to stand. That means the high court has already signed off on the constitutionality of legally overturning an election result.
So if the 2016 election is challenged in front of the Supreme Court, it would come down to whether a majority of the eight Justices are willing to overturn the election. As we’ve already laid out, there is some reason to believe that five specific Justices could be inclined to take action. And if they do, their ruling will be final – and no other opinions will matter. As we’ve learned over the centuries, the Supreme Court is the only entity Constitutionally entitled to do anything it sees fit. And this election isn’t over unless the court says it’s over.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report