The day after Thanksgiving, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals pulled yet another rug out from under Donald Trump’s serial attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. Judge Stephanos Bibas rejected the claims made in the campaign’s brief as specious and excoriated ongoing attempts to exclude legitimate votes from Pennsylvania’s final tallies. “Voters, not lawyers, choose the president,” Bibas lectured Trump’s attorneys from the bench. A second Pennsylvania judge, Matthew Brann, has dismissed another lawsuit, with prejudice.
These are only two decisions handed down by judges during the most brazen attempt to steal an American election since the foiled Confederate plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln before his 1861 inauguration. Across the country, courts repeatedly upheld the law in the weeks before and since the election. Out of the 53 cases filed by the Trump campaign, as of today, 19 have been dismissed or denied outright, 8 have been dropped, 14 are limping, and only 3 have resulted in rulings that support minor claims about voting irregularities.
That’s an astonishingly bad statistic, even for Trump, who lives for flurries of frivolous legal filings that rarely succeed but often force people to settle to avoid paying their attorneys more than the suit itself is worth. In politics, it also has a downside: one of the major donors in Citizens United now believes that the campaign’s legal team was never serious about winning the election in court, and he is suing to get his $2.5 million back.
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