“I don’t blame people for fighting these legal fights. I said all along, and stand by it, that we should let the legal cases play themselves out. There is a strong sense that something went very wrong here; tens of millions of people have that sense. I certainly do.”
—-Prof. William Jacobson, Cornell law prof. and proprietor of the conservative Legal Insurrection blog, in a post yesterday about the 2020 Presidential election; it was titled, “Where things stand at this hour.”
“The court proceedings and legislative hearings have exposed a lot of problems with the election. Shining a light on the threat of mail-in voting and election practices was a public service, and should serve as a warning for 2022 and 2024.“
Professor Jacobson’s thoughtful wrap-up of the 2020 Election Ethics Train Wreck, as it is tagged here at Ethics Alarms, should be read by both critics of the election and critics of the challenges to it, because he is eminently reasonable, and most of the hyperventilation on both sides of the political divide on the matter has not been. “The strong sense that something went very wrong here” is an accurate and fair assessment, and echoes the early posts on the election here that emphasized the appearance of impropriety. There was more in both the lead-up and the actual execution of this Presidential election to legitimately create the appearance of impropriety to objective observers than any U.S. election in at least 60 years. Even anti-Trump fanatics and the most committed Democrats and progressives ought to concede that. They have not, and that also adds to the appearance of impropriety, or in a single word, suspicion.
The professor also points out some things in his analysis that need to be understood, like…
What happened in Wisconsin…“the 2020 presidential election was lost months ago. Liberal Jill Karofsky defeated conservative sitting Justice Daniel Kelly in an April 2020 election the Wisconsin Republicans completely botched by allowing it to take place the same date as the Democratic presidential primary. Guess who turned out to vote? Democrats. That took the court down to a nominal 4-3 conservative majority, with Justice Brian Hagedorn the weak conservative link…Karofsky was known to be on the extreme end of the spectrum, and she demonstrated it during the oral argument, with obviously planned pronouncements from the bench that the challenges were racist, and that Trump was acting like a king. It was the most abysmal display I’ve ever seen in an appellate court oral argument. Karofsky has just started her 10-year term in office.”
Accountability...”In many other states, legal and political battles were fought strategically by Democrats over the several months leading up to the election. Democrats organized for a mail-in election, Republicans didn’t. Republicans were out-organized, out-hustled, and out-lawyered.”
Why the state challenges were futile...”As I cautioned many times, no court was going to disallow thousands (and in some cases millions, such as PA) of votes which technically may have been unlawful, but were cast by people who thought they were voting lawfully and who were following the procedures of election authorities. That was a reality check that not enough people offered. In his opinion, Justice Hagedorn wrote of a challenge to the form of voter application:
“Waiting until after an election to challenge the sufficiency of a form application in use statewide for at least a decade is plainly unreasonable.”
Technical arguments, while possibly legally correct, were not going to, and did not, persuade a majority of any appellate court to grant the relief sought.”
Trump’s over-promising lawyers…“Also, let’s face it, there were many high-profile lawyers who didn’t deliver on their promises of definitive proof. Broad conspiracy theories which might be true were not proof. Even Trump-appointed federal judges could not be convinced.”
Read the whole essay. Toward the end, he writes, correctly,
“The merging of the Democratic Party and the high tech oligarchs who control the flow of information is one of the most serious threats non-liberals have faced politically. They will hit the ground running. Will we?”
In truth, it’s among the most serious threats democracy itself has faced in this country.