Sep 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump says he wants 9 justices in case Supreme Court must decide 2020 election

President Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday that part of his urgency to quickly push through a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is that he believes the Supreme Court may have to decide the result of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump claimed at the Republican National Convention that the only way he will lose the election is if it is "rigged," and he has declined to say whether he would accept the results of November's election if he loses to Joe Biden.

What he's saying: "And then you have after the election, too. But in terms of time, we go to January 20th. But I think it's better if you go before the election. Because I think this scam that the Democrats are pulling, it's a scam, this scam will be before the United States Supreme Court," he told reporters on Wednesday without evidence.

  • "I think having a 4-4 situation is not a good situation, if you get that. I don't know that you'd get that. I think it should be 8-nothing or 9-nothing, but just in case it should be more political than it should be, I think it's very important to have a ninth justice."
  • “I think this will end up in the Supreme Court," Trump said, per pool reports. "And I think it's very important that we have nine justices, and I think the system is going to go very quickly. I'll be submitting at five o'clock on Saturday the name of the person that I chose for the most important of all positions."

Context: Trump has claimed, without evidence, that widespread mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic would rig the election against him. Polls have found that more Democrats than Republicans plan to vote by mail.

  • The Constitution states that the president's current term "shall end" at noon on January 20th.
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