Will Supreme Court Enter Presidential Election Fray?


The morning after the election President Trump said he was considering bringing the U.S. Supreme Court in to settle issues involving the counting of ballots in states like Pennsylvania, which has changed their rules to allow an extended period to count all mail-in ballots.

SMU political science professor Dr. Cal Jillson said based on what is known now he doesn’t think that will happen. “Those kind of things remain to be seen. Those can stretch out, but I think the courts will try to let the voters determine the result rather than the judges.”

Dr. Jillson says all laws governing elections are exercised at the state level, and only involve the federal government if a constitutional issue is raised. Elections could possibly trigger consideration of the 14th Amendment’s protections. He says if there is going to be involvement by the courts, it will be at the state level. “That’s where I think things would start. Only if there were violations of federal law, equal protection of the laws, would there be a federal case as there was in Bush v Gore in 2000,” Jillson says.

So far, we’re not there yet. But following a presidential election a constitutional clock begins ticking, the electors of the electoral college requiring certified votes before they can cast their ballots with a hard deadline of December 15.


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