Before the rooster crows in the morning many more times, the United States Supreme Court will end the legal equivalent of a coup d’etat attempt by Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBiden and Harris named Time’s 2020 ‘Person of the Year’ US to sanction Turkey over Russian defense system: report Federal government executes Brandon Bernard despite last-minute appeals MORE.
It is ironic that Trump, who spent the last four years accusing various political opponents of treason, now receives a long list of entries resulting from a Google search for “Trump commits sedition.” I am not saying here whether or not Trump’s behavior constitutes legally defined sedition. But I am saying that his behavior is now a legitimate subject for profound legal discussion on the subject.
What Trump is attempting today, in real time, before the eyes of a restive and divided nation facing the most deadly health crisis in a century, is, in fact, an effective coup d’etat against the democracy of the United States.
This action is now supported by more than 100 Republican members of the House of Representatives, who back a doomed lawsuit by the Republican attorney general of Texas and a number of other Republican state attorneys general, asking the Supreme Court to essentially throw out the electoral vote count that has already been certified by state authorities across the nation.
A longer list of state attorneys general has called on the Supreme Court to reject this case. One of their leaders, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, in a filing to the court, described the Texas lawsuit as a “seditious abuse of the judicial process.”
Almost immediately after Election Day ended, Trump’s various lawyers, including a number who have already resigned, began failing in case after case, before court after court, both on the federal and state levels. This humiliating barrage of legal defeats occurred under judges who have been appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents, and Republican and Democratic governors.
Many of the decisions against Trump were written with a judicial version of sarcasm and ridicule, by judges who seem offended by bogus allegations based on a pandemic of lies.
I would add a warning to Trump, his attorneys and his supporters in Congress: many of Trump’s words and deeds in this case and other matters have resulted in so much anger, so much hatred, so much rage based on so many lies that it is very possible some dastardly deed may be committed against one of many public officials including elected officials, election administrators and medical authorities battling the COVID-19 plague.
If any of these individuals receiving threats of violence are physically attacked, the president would be widely seen as inciting violence, making him morally guilty in many eyes, and potentially legally liable.
No president, from any party, from the founding of our nation until today, has ever tried to attack and destroy American democracy the way Trump has. No president, no Democrat, no Republican, no liberal, no conservative, no moderate, no leader in the history of our Republic has ever done what Trump has done, and continues to do today.
Recently the United States Supreme Court refused to hear a case against the Pennsylvania vote in the 2020 presidential campaign.
Soon the United States Supreme Court will reject the Texas case, most likely by refusing to consider it, or by issuing a ruling rejecting it, almost certainly by a unanimous vote of justices.
The Supreme Court will end the attempted legal coup d’etat by Donald Trump, once and for all, consigning it to the dust binds of American history to be scorned by historians of democracy for a thousand years.
Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.