It's been an insane 2020. The Supreme Court is no different, and we open the Term with 8 Justices. A ninth may be on the way. And it looks like there will be election litigation that will make Bush v. Gore look like playtime in comparison. Fun times. The WaPo covers the beginning of the Term:
The Supreme Court opens its new term Monday at the forefront of the national political conversation, but with its future uncertain and the unwelcome prospect of deciding a divisive presidential election on the horizon.
With Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the bench still draped in black crepe, the eight remaining justices will gather via teleconference to tackle a docket that, for now, is not nearly as controversial as the last.
That term saw the court strike a restrictive state abortion law, decide LGBTQ workers are protected by federal anti-discrimination laws, grant temporary relief to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children and reject President Trump’s insistence he was above investigation from Congress and local prosecutors while in office.
“The court in this term may be looking for ways to avoid partisan controversy, to delay deciding cases that are of deep ideological division as much as it can,” David Cole, the national legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, said last week in a briefing for reporters.
There is a foreboding, but “the biggest possible partisan controversy that it might face is a dispute about the election,” Cole continued. “I’m sure that all of the justices are saying the election officials’ Election Day prayer, which is: ‘Dear Lord, let this election not be close.’ ”
The court already is inundated with emergency lawsuits regarding the voting process, such as what accommodations must be made for voters during the coronavirus pandemic and whether the time frames for receiving mail-in ballots should be extended.
But President Trump has made it clear he believes there will likely be litigation over the results.
“I think I’m counting on them to look at the ballots, definitely,” Trump said during Tuesday’s debate with former vice president Joe Biden. “I don’t think — I hope we don’t need them, in terms of the election itself, but for the ballots, I think so.”