Trump Blames Supreme Court Decision for Potential Delay in Election Results

November 1, 2020 Updated: November 1, 2020

President Donald Trump on Saturday said the Supreme Court would be to blame if the winner of the presidential election is not known on Nov. 3.

The president was likely referring to a deadlocked Supreme Court vote which allowed Pennsylvania to extend the deadline for receiving mailed ballots past Election Day.

“Wouldn’t you like to hear November 3rd we win? We lose, we win, we lose—whatever—November 3rd. Now you have more time,” the president said at a campaign rally in Reading, Pennsylvania. “That was a very disappointing opinion, but I’ve had many disappointing opinions from the Supreme Court.”

“They talk about we control the Supreme—Well, we don’t control the Supreme Court. That was a terrible decision.”

After briefly pivoting to speaking about the differences between himself and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, he returned to the subject of the Supreme Court.

“If we win on Tuesday—or thank you very much Supreme Court, shortly thereafter—if we win, let me tell you, if we win, you’re going to see a stock market that’s going to go like a rocket ship,” Trump said.

Several media figures and left-wing commentators shared the last portion of Trump’s remarks in isolation to incorrectly suggest that the president was thanking the Supreme Court in the hypothetical event that he wins the election.

The Supreme Court on Oct. 19 voted 4-4 on a challenge to Pennsylvania’s mail-in ballot deadline extension. The deadlock will allow mail-in ballots to be received and counted until Nov. 6—three days after the Nov. 3 election—even if they don’t have a postmark.

Pennsylvania is a key battleground state. Trump won the Keystone State by 44,000 votes in 2016.

The Supreme Court took on an outweighed role in the 2020 election due to Trump’s appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Republicans in the Senate swiftly confirmed Barrett to the bench as Democrats decried the move. Barrett was not on the bench when the court issued the Pennsylvania decision.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, repeatedly evaded questions on whether they would alter the number of seats on the Supreme Court as payback for Trump’s appointment of Barrett. Biden most recently said that he would wait to see the outcome of the confirmation hearings. The Senate voted 52-48 on Oct. 26 to confirm Barrett.

An average of national polls maintained by Real Clear Politics shows Biden up by 7.8 points. The former Vice President’s lead is narrower—3.4 points and within the margin of error—in top battleground states.

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