The US Supreme Court´s rejection of Donald Trump and his associates´ plea to overturn the results of the presidential election has effectively come as the death knell for them in this regard. It might be seen as the last spike on the coffin of their last-ditch maneuvering for hanging on to power illegally based on lies and distortion of facts. The lawsuit filed by the state of Texas to invalidate results of Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin and thereby pave the way to deny the peoples´ verdict for Joe Biden was rejected by the highest court of US even without regular hearing. Because, 7 out of 9 judges of the Supreme Court opined that it lacked the merit of hearing. Interestingly, not even the 3 judges nominated by Trump and approved by Republican dominated Senate did not find merit for hearing.

This blow on Trump and his yes men has surely dashed the aspirations of Trumps second term in the office but on the other hand it has restored peoples´ confidence in judiciary, particularly in Supreme Court. When the latest judge Ms. Amy Coney Barrett´s nomination, made by Donald Trump was approved very hurriedly by the Senate during the peak of the election campaign period, a great majority of Americans became suspicious. For the first time in decades, out of 9 judges 6 are appointed by the Republican administrations considering their conservative values which are often identified as Republican values too. The progressive valued judges, often seen as Democratic minded, are outnumbered by the conservative minded judges by the ratio of 3 : 6. The ruling of the Supreme Court was a disaster for Trump who previously had said that election of the president would be settled in the highest court. He was at least distinctly hoping that Republican or conservative minded justices, particularly who were nominated by him might come to his rescue. The much expected ruling of the judges proved that though they are nominated by the president, they do not act or deliver verdicts according to the wishes of the chief executive of the country. A judgement may go either way according to the merits of the case. Conservative and comparatively progressive blocks of the justices differ mainly on social values like abortion, gay rights etc. But on fundamental constitutional and strict legal matters they are unanimous.

The US supreme Court judges can defy wishes of the presidents and withstand political pressures from the highest level, because, they are highly qualified and competent. When Amy Coney was nominated as judge of the Supreme Court by Donald Trump a controversy arose because of the timing of the nomination and her standing on social values. But none questioned about her academic and judicial qualifications. She excelled and shined both as a student and as a teacher (professor of the University of Notre Dame´s Law school) and served in an appeal court efficiently. And she proved her integrity and independence in this case too rejecting Trump´s plea to overturn the election results in 4 states. One thing may be noted here that unlike 3rd world countries, there is no scope in the USA to appoint a lawyer with mediocre academic background as a judge in a court. Because, only the best students can expect to get admitted in the Law Faculties of different US universities.

When the numerical balance between liberal and conservative judges of the Supreme Court was severely shattered after Amy Cony´s appointment, many observers thought that if the Democrats got sufficient majority in the Senate, the numbers of justices would be raised to 11 and 2 more progressive minded judges would take seats in the highest court so that some balance could be restored. But the process is complex and controversial. After the rejection of the Republican Party´s (State of Texas) plea to overturn the election, both general public and Democrats may have found some assurances that Supreme Court can function independently on basic constitutional matters even in present numerical balance which is tilted towards the Republican. Hence raising of number of judges may not be required. But they will wait and watch.

Almost all legal experts were expecting that the Supreme Court would reject Texas´s plea for overturning election results of the concerned four states where Biden had won. It was not unknown to Republican Congressmen and Attorneys General. Knowing fully well this fact more than 100 Republican members of the House of Representatives and around two dozens of state Attorneys General belonging to the party supported the move. It is because, Donald Trump wanted to see who were on his side. They wanted to show their blind allegiance to him. There is a possibility that Donald Trump may try to be the nominee of the GOP in 2024´s presidential election. Hence his blind supporters do not want to displease him. They don´t have the guts to oppose him even when he is clearly wrong. He has become a despot in the party too like many of the third world´s despotic leaders! What a shame and disservice to the United States of America!

Supreme Court´s ruling is almost a death knell for Donald Trump to hang on to power by dishonest maneuvering. But this president has no limit. No one will be surprised if he makes further dubious, unethical and unimaginable moves.

Anisur Rahman is a senior Bangladeshi journalist now living in Sweden.

E-mail: Anisur.anis@gmail.com


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