SCOTUS Opinion: Court Deals Trump Two More Defeats

Today the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear two appeals by former President Donald Trump, one of which may be setting up further legal troubles for him. In Trump v. Vance, the Court, without any dissent, declined to hear Trump’s last-gasp attempt to stop the Manhattan district attorney’s subpoena seeking Trump’s tax records as part of an investigation into Trump’s various business dealings and potential fraud.

Meanwhile, in Corman v. Pennsylvania Democratic Party, the Court decided 6-3 against hearing an appeal involving the election rules in Pennsylvania. Due to COVID-19, the Pennsylvania legislature enacted a law to extending the deadline to receive mail-in ballots to 8:00 pm on election day. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party sued, and the state’s Supreme Court determined that the Pennsylvania Constitution allowed it to extend that deadline by three days. However, the U.S. Constitution vests authority over state election rules to the state legislatures and the federal government, not state courts.

Justice Thomas dissented from the denial of certiorari, arguing that the Court’s decision not to hear the case was “inexplicable” given the “ideal opportunity to address just what authority nonlegislative officials have to set election rules, and to do so well before the next election cycle,” although acknowledging that the result of the case would not affect the result of the election. Justice Alito, joined by Justice Gorsuch, also dissented, arguing that resolving the questions raised in the case would not be “moot” since those issues are likely to recur in the next election.

A link to these rulings is here: