In a largely underreported news story, a group of citizens has initiated a case with the Supreme Court of the United States to nullify the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
A petition for a writ of mandamus has been filed asking the Court to take mandatory action in the name of public duty. The writ – filed Jan 18, 2017 by Diane Blumstein, Donna Soodalter-Toman, and Nancy Goodman – has been assigned a docket number.
The gist of the petitioners’ argument is that under Article IV § 4 of the U.S. Constitution, it is the job of the federal government to keep U.S. territory safe from foreign invasion. The Constitution stipulates, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion.”
The petition cites as evidence of such an invasion the Russian hacking of our presidential election and asks that Trump’s victory be nullified on the grounds that cyber-territory in the U.S. was invaded with the intention of altering the results of the presidential election. The petitioners seek an entirely new election.
The High Court has scheduled a conference for March 17, 2017.
While this is good news for those holding out hope that the election results may be undone, legal experts are predicting the petitioners’ chances of prevailing are slimmer than Trump having graduated the University of Pennsylvania summa cum laude.
In a story on the subject, Occupy Democrats described the court action as “a longshot,” later indicating the petition “has a 1% chance of even being heard by the court, let alone of being decided favorably” for the petitioners.
But isn’t the fact the Court assigned a docket number and a conference date a good sign?
No. According to Counsel Press, a consulting firm, the Court’s action is not an indication the Justices have decided the claim has merit and ought to be discussed. A spokesman for the firm even speculated the individuals who filed this petition had a better chance of winning a Powerball lottery than of seeing their petition move forward.
Could all this obvious futility be why the case has remained largely unnoticed?
The bottom line seems to be don’t look for this court to get involved in the 2016 presidential election as it did in 2000 with Bush v. Gore.
Photo | REUTERS/Larry Downing