Tuesday, November 24, 2020

SCOTUS Federal Circuit Assignments

turcopolier  |  On 20 November, new assignments were made because Judge Ginsburg passed away and was replaced by Judge Amy Coney Barrett [3].  The states that may be in play in the election, the federal circuits they are in, and the judges assigned to each circuit are: Pennsylvania, Third Circuit, Alito; Michigan, Sixth Circuit, Kavanaugh; Wisconsin, Seventh Circuit, Barrett; Georgia, Eleventh Circuit, Thomas; and Arizona, Ninth Circuit, Kagan.

Scott Adams thought that the assignment of Supreme Court judges to certain circuits may have some effect on the court cases about the election, and he realized that he had only limited information about the process.  However, the single judge assigned to a circuit cannot decide an issue or the merits of anything.  Only a majority of the members of the court can. The single judge can issue a stay order or other authorized order about actions of a lower court or of a state, and in some situations, the actions of the federal government.  This is why Adams' interpretion of what the circuit assignments mean is mistaken, since he assumes that a particular judge assigned to a particular circuit can decide a critical lawsuit about the election.

Because of the time periods established in the federal constitution for the presidential selection process, the election court challenges are a race against the clock.  In that context, the Supreme Court judge assigned to a circuit could issue a stay order minutes before a midnight deadline.  Theoretically, the single judge could deny a stay order right before a deadline, so that the whole court could not rule on it in time, but that would almost certainly not happen.  The one judge would likely issue a stay order so that all of the judges could decide the next day whether to keep it in place until they made a ruling by majority vote on the matter in question.

A quorum for the Supreme Court is six judges.  When there were only eight after Judge Antonin Scalia passed away -- and then later, Judge Ruth Ginsburg -- the court could continue to operate. And even if three judges are missing, decisions can still be made [4]. 

As the election challenges continue, the television and media driven mantra that the sky will fall if Joe Biden is not elected president is fatuous and false, along with its sibling that the country will be "torn apart" if courts intervene to change the psychological operation underway that Biden is the "president-elect", although he has not yet been constitutionally elected or selected.  And, that the "credibility of the system" will not remain intact if election contests are sustained by court or legislative action, and Trump remains president.  Those phrases are commonly used to try to weaken resolve and cause others, especially those in decision-making positions, to not push forward, and to manipulate their sense of guilt that they will contribute to great damage and destruction unless they throw in the towel and submit to what perpetrators might desire. 

The cognitive psychology displayed since election day to impede and delegitimize investigations of the election is quite sophisticated. If Trump prevails, the probable street protests, violence, and media propaganda that will follow will not cause "the system" to fall apart, because the active perpetrators will be badly outnumbered by "us", and people with jobs in the system will want to continue on with their lives.