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Justice Clarence Thomas reveals some sympathy for Trump's baseless fraud claims

February 22, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday claimed election fraud is a threat to America, revealing in a forceful dissent some support for former President Donald Trump and Republicans who have refused to accept the result of the 2020 election.

(CNN)Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday claimed election fraud is a threat to America, revealing in a forceful dissent some support for former President Donald Trump and Republicans who have refused to accept the result of the 2020 election.

But his dissent stands out for how much it subscribed to the Trump worldview of fraud, a notion debunked by election law experts and that has failed overwhelmingly in dozens of state and federal court challenges.

The Supreme Court has generally sidestepped Trump election controversies, and even as Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented and said the majority should hear the Pennsylvania dispute to clarify rules for the future, they declined to mention fraud or voter irregularities on the ground and did not join Thomas' dissent.

"Because the Federal Constitution, not state constitutions, gives state legislatures authority to regulate federal elections," Thomas wrote, "petitioners presented a strong argument that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision violated the Constitution by overriding the clearly expressed intent of the legislature. "

Thomas observed that the state court's decision involved too few ballots to affect the outcome of any federal election.

"An election system lacks clear rules when, as here, different officials dispute who has authority to set or change those rules," Thomas wrote.

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