Donald Trump has once again telegraphed that he expects recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett to rule in his favour on any Supreme Court cases that emerge from his challenge to the results of the 2020 election.
On Tuesday, Mr Trump retweeted an image of Justice Barrett that had been photoshopped to show glowing golden starbursts over her eyes.
The Twitter user Mr Trump retweeted – who has also posted about John Lennon being killed for trying to thwart schemes hatched by George H W Bush before his presidency and has signal boosted QAnon conspiracy theorists – wrote that "the wheels are coming off" and that the Democrats cheated "so big" that they went mad in a "fraud frenzy".
There is no evidence to support anything the user claimed.
While Mr Trump retweeted the image, he included his own words.
"They got caught because we were leading by so much more than they ever thought possible. Late night ballot 'dumps' went crazy!" he wrote.
Despite the sentence making no sense, even if it were corrected to present a logical argument, it would be one based on allegations without evidence.
Twitter marked the post for potentially containing disputed information.
Justice Barrett told lawmakers during her confirmation hearing in October that she would not allow herself to be used as a tool by Mr Trump to decide the outcome of the election.
"I certainly hope that all members of the committee have more confidence in my integrity than to think I would allow myself to be used as a pawn to decide this election for the American people," Justice Barrett said.
Though she said she would not be used as a pawn, Ms Barrett also refused to commit to recusing herself from ruling on any lawsuits related to the 2020 election.
Mr Trump has been pushing for the Supreme Court to intervene in the election since the early hours of 4 November, when it became clear that the scenario that had been forecast for weeks – that late counted mail-in votes would favour Mr Biden by a large amount – began playing out.
Even before the election, Mr Trump telegraphed his intention to use the court to help him secure re-election. Days after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September, Mr Trump said he needed to ensure there was a ninth Justice in place because he was "counting on" the Supreme Court to "look at the ballots".
The Supreme Court rejected Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly's attempt to have millions of legally cast votes thrown out on Tuesday. The lawsuit claimed that Pennsylvania's mail-in voting laws were uncosntitutional, despite the laws being passed by a majority-Republican state legislature.
A group of Texas Republicans also launched a lawsuit challenging the "unlawful election results" in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin and Michigan –all states Mr Biden won – and demanding the results be declared unconstitutional.
Lawsuits between states are automatically decided by the US Supreme Court, although many legal experts doubt that the Supreme Court will hear the case.
Lawmakers from the states Texas challenged were expectedly frustrated with the state challenging their election processes in court.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro wrote on Twitter that the "continued attacks on our fair and free election system are beyond meritless, beyond reckless".
Wisconsin's Attorney General Josh Kaul called the challenge "embarrassing".
"I feel sorry for Texans that their tax dollars are being wasted on such a genuinely embarrassing lawsuit," Mr Kaul tweeted. "Texas is as likely to challenge the outcome of the Ice Bowl as it is to overturn the will of Wisconsin voters in the 2020 presidential election."
Mr Trump's attempt to utilise the courts to circumvent electoral defeat has thus far been an utter failure.
Nearly every one of the lawsuits brought by Mr Trump's legal allies to challenge the election has been tossed out – even by Trump-appointed judges.
Mr Trump had to part ways with one of his lawyers, Sidney Powell, who promotes dangerous conspiracy theories and files error-ridden lawsuits. His other champion lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, became infected with Covid-19 after bumbling through press conferences – one mistakenly at a landscaping company, another while hair dye ran down his face, and another in which he struggled with flatulence issues.
Rebecca Green, co-director of the election law programme at William & Mary Law School, said she believed the legal challenges were unlikely to be taken seriously by any judge, even those appointed by Trump.
"The merits are so outrageous in these claims that even the most avid Trump judges on the federal bench are laughing them out of court," she told USA Today. "I don't see any reason why his judges on the Supreme Court wouldn't be forced into that same position."
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