President Trump can rail as much as he likes, but he can’t stop the counting of valid votes. And while he is threatening to race to the Supreme Court to overturn any result against him, that, too, is likely to be a losing play — even with the bolstered conservative majority….
But even if the court were to agree with the Republicans on their federal constitutional claim, it is doubtful that a majority of justices — having allowed the state court extension to remain in place — would also agree to invalidate ballots that benefited from the extra time.
Courts often talk about reliance interests and have recognized that these are particularly important in the context of elections: the ability of voters to know what the rules of the road are and to act accordingly. Voters who relied on the state Supreme Court’s ruling were complying with the law as it existed and they reasonably understood it. The justices could correct the state Supreme Court’s error for the future and still let these ballots be counted.AD
That would be a wise way out for conservative justices. Neither the court nor the country would benefit from the justices once again intervening to determine the presidency — no matter how loudly Trump demands it.