With 43 days to Election Day 2020, here’s the news that you’ll want to know:
President Trump commits to a SCOTUS nomination before Election Day. He’ll announce his pick this week.
“‘These are the smartest people, the smartest young people, you like to go young, because they’re there for a long time,’ Trump said, adding that his nominee would ‘abide by the Constitution,’ be a ‘good person’ and have ‘very, very high moral values.’ Trump also said the final Senate vote for his potential nominee should take place ‘before the election’ and ‘should go very quickly.’” (Daily Wire)
- What’s happening: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sadly passed away on Friday night. (Read this reflection on her life from The Daily Signal.) Justice Ginsburg will lay in state at the Supreme Court this week. May her memory be a blessing.
By this morning, speculation — and political fighting over the nomination to replace her on the Supreme Court — has taken over all other national and political news.
In the latest update, President Trump has announced he will nominate a woman, he’s down to a short-list of five candidates, and he’ll make the announcement of his choice on Friday or Saturday, after Justice Ginsburg’s funeral services.
- What’s at stake: This issue is now the center of the 2020 presidential election.
(1) Joe Biden has been overshadowed as Democrats threaten just about anything and everything in response.
Although Biden has tried to campaign as a moderate, the far-left goals and tactics of the Democratic Party have pushed him out of the headlines already.
— They may “pack the courts,” i.e. expand the number of Supreme Court Justices beyond the traditional nine. The last attempt to do this was FDR.
— Left-wing protestors are already gathering at Republican Senators’ homes. Capitol Police responded to protests at Sen. Lindsey Graham’s DC address; Sen. McConnell’s home in Kentucky was also “targeted,” according to Fox News.
Sen. Hawley summarized it this way on Fox News this morning: “They lost the election in 2016, they lost the White House. So, listen, if they win back those things, they’ll be able to confirm and nominate their own justices in the future, but, to say because they lost elections that now that they will break all of our Constitutional norms and standards, they’ll pack courts, they’ll conduct impeachment hearings to stop a president from carrying forward his Constitutionally authorized privileges and responsibilities. That’s insane.”
(2) Biden still hasn’t released a list of potential nominees.
Earlier this month, President Trump released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees for a vacancy on the Court — which, at the time was presumed to potentially occur in a second term.
Biden still has not released any potential Supreme Court picks from a Biden-Harris Administration.
AOC has said that Biden shouldn’t share any names, calling it potentially “demoralizing” and “dividing.” (We would call it keeping critical policy details from the American people.)
- What else to know: Kamala Harris was one of the “ringleaders” during the confirmation hearing for now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as The Federalist termed it. That may also be why the Biden campaign is keeping a relatively low profile on this issue.
Judges change Election Day deadlines for Michigan and Pennsylvania. Michigan will now accept ballots up to two weeks after Election Day.
“In Michigan, a state court judge on Friday agreed to relax a critical deadline related to the return of absentee balloting. The previous rule stipulated that mail-in ballots must be received no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day. But under Friday’s ruling, ballots that are postmarked by the day before Election Day will be counted so long as they are received within two weeks after the Nov. 3 election.” (The Hill)
- What’s happening: Judges unilaterally changed election deadlines in two critical states for the 2020 election: Michigan and Pennsylvania.
— Normally, the mail-in ballot deadline is 8PM on Election Day.
— On Friday, the court ruled that the NEW mail-in ballot deadline is “within two weeks” of November 3, Election Day, provided ballots are postmarked by November 2.
— Normally, the mail-in ballot deadline is 8PM on Election Day.
— Last week the court ruled that the NEW mail-in ballot deadline is 5PM on Friday, November 6. That’s three days after Election Day, November 3.
— Ballots must have a November 3 postmark OR “no proof they were sent afterward” OR have a missing or illegible postmark.
- What’s at stake: These decisions were widely seen as a victory for Democrats and were part of the “biggest pro-Democrat” super PAC’s legal challenges.
(1) This will potentially put thousands more ballots into play in two important states.
Pennsylvania is a must-win state for President Trump’s campaign. And it has a narrow margin of victory: he won by just over 44,000 votes in 2016.
In Michigan, President Trump won by an even smaller margin in 2016 — just 0.3% points or just over 10,000 votes.
The new, court-ordered deadlines could potentially affect as many more or more votes than the margin of victory in each state in 2016.
(2) Last-minute legal changes increase post-election challenges. Or, put another way: the more rules are changed now, the more likely it is we’ll see recounts or lawsuits after Election Day — especially in very tight races like are expected in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
As Sen. Toomey (R-PA) said of Pennsylvania’s decision last week: “Today’s blatantly political decision to violate the law irresponsibly heightens the risk that our state will experience a lengthy, disputed, and controversial outcome in what is expected to be an extremely close presidential race.”
The 2000 election is forever linked with the recount challenge in Florida. This year, the country faces the possibility of delayed results and legal challenges — and now Pennsylvania and Michigan may have placed themselves right in the middle.
Facebook wants you to vote in 2020, and they’re rolling out a “massive campaign” to prove it.
“The tech titan will kick off a massive campaign Monday encouraging people to visit its virtual voting information centers where they can look up how to register to vote, how to vote by mail or how to volunteer to work at polling stations on Election Day. The marketing campaign will be broadcast on major U.S. television and radio channels, as well as online news outlets.” (Newsmax)
- What’s happening: Facebook is rolling out a new initiative today to encourage its American users to vote in the 2020 election. The social media platform will reportedly link users to a “voting information center” for information on voter registration, voting absentee or by mail, and volunteering at the polls.
Facebook reported that it has already helped 2.5 million users register to vote. Its goal is to help with 4 million voter registrations ahead of the 2020 election.
- What’s at stake: Tomorrow is National Voter Registration Day — which is a public education initiative, not an official deadline or government event.
But you’ll see companies roll out their voter initiative efforts this week. Footlocker will reportedly offer voter registration at more than 2,000 store locations, and at least one T-Mobile location did the same.
But none of these businesses will have the same instantaneous — and likely daily — reach as Facebook.