The Race For The White House

The Race For The White House

The Race For The White House

On 7 November 2020, Former Vice President Joe Biden passed the 270-vote threshold to claim victory in the 2020 presidential election. However, there are still processes to be completed before Biden officially becomes the 46th President of the United States (‘US’ hereafter).

Here’s what you need to know.

State officials must give an official vote count by 8 December 2020. Under federal law, States must provide this count ‘as soon as practicable.’ However, since democratic candidate Joe Biden’s victory, Donald Trump is intent on frustrating the election process with a series of lawsuits and demanding recounts wherever possible.

Where do these lawsuits stand?

Pennsylvania: Since early September, Trump and his supporters have pushed the US Supreme Court to exclude mail-in ballots that arrived by 6 November. This followed the decision of Pennsylvania to extend the dates to receive mail votes due to delays and the pandemic. Trump also raised lawsuits to exclude mail-in ballots where voters made a mistake. All attempts were unsuccessful. Even in the event that Trump succeeded in these lawsuits, it would not be sufficient to overrule Biden’s 45,000 vote lead in Pennsylvania.

Arizona: The Trump campaign was concerned that the results of ballot papers filled out by ink pens were being distorted. It was argued that ink was bleeding through the ballot paper and appearing as if the voter had voted for two candidates as opposed to one. Trump then commenced a lawsuit on the grounds that poll workers were not responding to scanner notifications which indicated bleeding ink. The campaign submitted various affidavits from voters stating that poll workers did not inform them that they could fix their ballot papers if their ink had smudged. Affidavits provide evidence of a written statement made under oath and are often required to fulfil court etiquette.

Georgia: Last week, Trump and his campaign also lost a lawsuit in Georgia where they sought to disqualify 53 mail-in ballots for arriving after the election deadline. After only a one-hour hearing, the Judge threw the case out as a result of insufficient evidence. This demonstrates the importance of evidence in Court proceedings, specifically expert evidence which is based onspecialised or expert knowledge. The team at National Criminal Lawyers® (‘NCL’ hereafter) acquire the skills to effectively interpret the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) to understand how evidence can be admitted or excluded in Court. As a result of these skills, the Parramatta Criminal Lawyers at NCL have achieved numerous dismissals on the basis that there is insufficient evidence to form a strong prosecution case.

Trump will still be in office for the next 68 odd days until Biden is inaugurated on 20 January 2021. Despite several legal attempts and conspiracy theories, if the official count favours Biden, he will become the 46th President of the US and Trump will have no legal grounds to remain in office. However, until this date arrives, Trump refuses to concede his loss.  Biden refers to Trump’s actions as anembarrassment and confidently states that “nothing’s going to stop” his administration moving forward with a transition of power.

 HAPPY TO SEE TRUMP GO?

Since winning the presidency, Donald Trump has taken the world by storm with relentless controversies, major headlines and unfiltered tweets. US and global citizens are either relieved to see his removal from office or saddened that Trump’s time has come to an end.

What exactly has Trump’s journey entailed over the last four years as President.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Reshaping The Federal Judiciary

Donald Trump has reshaped America’s federal judiciary. He has achieved this by appointing three Supreme Court justices and 220 judges to the federal bench for lifetime appointments. By doing so, Trump will continue to have some form of influence on the direction of the US even after he is removed from office. What are your thoughts on this?

Tax Reform

After three years of Trump’s presidency, the Republican tax bill was introduced to implement significant changes to the tax code. These changes permanently slashed the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and provided temporary benefits for individuals and their families. Supporters of the bill argued that the law would spread economic prosperity by increasing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 3%. However, to this date, such ambitious goals have not been achieved.

Unemployment Rate

Over the four years of presidency, Trump reduced unemployment to the lowest rate in half a century. As a result, many have praised Trump’s achievements for taking the economy to new heights.

First Step Act

In December 2018, Trump supported the enactment of the First Step Act. The Act addresses ineffective sentencing laws to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for drug felonies and expand early-release programs. Ultimately, the Act looks to reduce mass incarcerations rates at a federal level and promote rehabilitation which is a primary sentencing principle. It focuses on job-training opportunities and includes provisions intended to treat prisoners humanely which include banning the shackling of pregnant inmates and halting the use of solitary confinement for most juvenile offenders. Also, it is now mandatory that prisoners be placed in facilities within 500 miles from their families. The passing of this bill has received overwhelming support and marks the first legislative victory for effective reform in the criminal justice system.

FAILURES

Replacing the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare)

After receiving the iconic “thumbs down” by the late Senator John McCain, Trump was denied a full congressional repeal of former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law. However, Trump did have success in dismantling parts of the law. His tax bill included a rollback of the tax penalty for those who did not enrol in healthcare, and the Trump administration has had some success in the Courts regarding the individual mandate. Trump has not offered a replacement for the Affordable Care Act even though he had promised “insurance for everybody” and that he would introduce a “phenomenal healthcare plan”.

George Floyd  

Trump’s response to the death of George Floyd sparked significant outrage. Rather than take to the streets to condemn white-supremacist violence, the President opted to tear-gas peaceful protesters near the White House where he later posed for a photo. Trump has been criticised for failing to rise to the occasion and “dividing Americans, not healing them”.

Impeachment

The president was acquitted in a Senate trial but will still be known as the third president in US history to be impeached. President Trump faced two articles of impeachment. One was for the abuse of power over his dealing with Ukraine and for his obstruction of Congress over his efforts to stonewall the impeachment inquiry.

 COVID-19

Donald Trump is one of the most heavily protected people in the world! The fact that he contracted COVID-19 represents a failure in his plan to combat the pandemic in the US. Trump routinely flouted public-health recommendations before being infected with the virus. In fact, just less than a week before his diagnosis, Donald mocked Biden for routinely wearing a mask in public.

WHO WILL ‘MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN’?

Trump prided himself on the desire to ‘Make America Great Again’.  However, Biden’s electoral victory suggests that US citizens trust Biden to lead their nation to greatness.

Will Biden rise to the challenge and overcome the failures of Trump?

Although, maybe we should wait to see if any of Trump’s conspiracies have some truth…

 

 

 

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