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Supreme Court heads into election season amid uncertainty

September 22, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has tilted the Supreme Court further rightward at a time when voting access cases or even a contested presidential election could head to the high court.

(CNN)The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has tilted the Supreme Court further rightward at a time when voting access cases or even a contested presidential election could head to the high court.

But court experts are mixed on whether the loss of Ginsburg would play a significant role in shaping the court's handling of cases related to the 2020 presidential election, even if a conservative successor to Ginsburg is confirmed by the Senate before November 3.

The Supreme Court has made a series of split rulings this year with Ginsburg in the minority, showing the court is hesitant to expand access to voting as a result of the pandemic.

"But I think it's extremely unlikely that the Court decides a case with a substantial impact on November 2020, in any way in which Justice Ginsburg's vote would be the tipping point," he said.

There are two categories of election cases that the Supreme Court could take up: pre-election litigation related to voting rules, and post-election disputes over the counting of ballots.

As the election gets closer, the Supreme Court becomes less likely to make rulings that would change existing election rules, said Myrna Perez, the director of the Brennan Center's Voting Rights and Elections Program.

Perez said that while Ginsburg's death won't change the ideological makeup of the court, she still played an important role with her dissents to translate the issues to the public, such as her writing in the 2013 case striking down parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act was "like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet. "

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