The Trump campaign has been dealt yet another significant setback in their nationwide fight against the expansion of mail-in voting. The Trump campaign and GOP allies have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to overturn a recent order from Montana’s Democratic Governor Steve Bullock, who recently ordered the expansion of mail-in voting in his state so that every county can have the option to conduct their elections entirely via the mail. In the wake of two court defeats, the Republicans fighting against the plan filed a request for an immediate block of the Montana plan by the U.S. Supreme Court — and that request has now been denied.
The denial was signed by Justice Elena Kagan, without comprehensive explanation or apparent dissent. The court, it’s worth noting, currently has just 8 members following the recent death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Five of those members lean towards the right — but that was not enough to hand Republicans a win in their fight to block the expansion of mail-in voting in Montana. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit have already ruled against the GOP’s suit, bringing the case to the metaphorical steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Judge Christensen, who is an Obama appointee, had harsh words for the case that the Trump campaign and its GOP allies originally brought. Christensen insisted that the Trump campaign’s consistent allegation that there is some kind of potential for widespread fraud with mail-in voting is a “fiction.”
‘This case requires the Court to separate fact from fiction… Central to some of the [Trump campaign’s] claims is the contention that the upcoming election, both nationally and in Montana, will fall prey to widespread voter fraud. The evidence suggests, however, that this allegation, specifically in Montana, is a fiction… [According to experts], the use of mail ballots present no significant risk of fraud.’
These setbacks do not seem like they’ll stop the Trump campaign and GOP at large from continuing their baseless campaign against mail-in voting. Asked during the recent presidential debate if he was “counting on the Supreme Court, including a Justice Barrett, to settle any dispute” over the election, Trump insisted:
‘I think I’m counting on them to look at the ballots, definitely. I hope we don’t need them, in terms of the election itself. But for the ballots, I think so, because what’s happening is incredible.’
Separately, Trump has also openly suggested that he may not accept the election results and ensure a peaceful transfer of power if he doesn’t like what he sees. Under no circumstance, of course, has Trump somehow been appointed to be the arbiter of American democracy, and his claims about some kind of imminent fraud are, as mentioned, baseless.
The reality is that he might lose big time — with less than a month until Election Day, FiveThirtyEight had Biden up by 9.8 percent in their average of national-level polling on Thursday afternoon. As of the same point, the site gave Biden an 85 percent chance of winning the election.