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'Democracy prevailed,' Biden declares after his Electoral College win

Something unseen the past four years happened Monday night: A legitimately elected national leader addressed the country about the strength and resilience of our democracy.

That is what Joe Biden did soon after the four electors in Hawaii cast the final ballots electing him the 46th American president. After nearly six weeks of unrelenting and unprecedented falsehood-fueled assaults by President Trump on the legitimacy of the election, which have been wholly repudiated by judges of all stripes across the country, the unmistakable takeaway from Biden will be this: The system held, the truth has been formalized, and now it is time to move on.

"If anyone didn't know it before, we know it now. What beats deep in the hearts of the American people is this: Democracy," Biden declared. "The right to be heard. To have your vote counted. To choose the leaders of this nation. To govern ourselves."

The message was designed to be heard not only to the 74 million who voted for Trump, tens of millions of whom have come to believe his baseless claims, but also to the leaders of a Republican Party — who have chosen astonishing complicity in the president's efforts over focusing on the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic upheaval.

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President Trump tweeted he will intervene in the last-minute Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn results in four battlegrounds won by Joe Biden.

Democracy regains some order in the courts but Trump vows to press on

Two extreme long-shot lawsuits are still sitting at the Supreme Court, a day after it waited just minutes before dismissing the first challenge to the presidential election it looked at.

There was not a word of dissent, from President Trump's three nominees or any of the other justices, as the court declined Tuesday evening to consider a bid by Pennsylvania Republicans to overturn Joe Biden's clear victory in the state.

Hours later came the deadline set by federal law for states to lock down their election results, and their assignments to the Electoral College, and make them almost totally immune from further challenges. While that essentially locked in Biden's election as the 46th president, it did nothing to stop Trump from continuing to falsely claim he won another term — or to prevent almost all his fellow Republicans in authority from appeasing the unprecedented effort by a president to delegitimize democracy with baseless conspiracy theories about voting fraud.

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President Donald Trump, seen at a Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony Monday, is about out of options for fighting his electoral loss.

Trump assault on the election just hours away from a deadline he can't overcome

Midnight marks a milestone in the tortured path that the election has been made to follow by President Trump's baseless campaign to debase democracy.

No matter how much legal spaghetti Trump and his allies throw at the wall — and there was a fresh batch Tuesday morning involving four states — none of it has a realistic chance to stick once the so-called safe harbor deadline passes in a few hours.

At that point, Joe Biden will cross one of the final formal thresholds before assuming the presidency, and the success of his final steps are supposed to be legally guaranteed and the American electoral system itself will be on the cusp of surviving one of its most extraordinary stress tests.

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Justice Samuel Alito (with his wife, Martha-Ann, at a service for his late colleague Ruth Bader Ginbsurg) has hastened a GOP election appeal in Pennsylvania.

The tiniest thread of hope for Trump gets into the Supreme Court

President Trump's scattershot effort to reverse his election rejection has received a last-minute lifeline from the Supreme Court. It's about the diameter of a single strand of hair, which is just enough to unite allies and opponents in the same response: So you're saying there's a chance.

Justice Samuel Alito on Sunday speeded up the schedule for Trump's allies to explain their reason for trying to reverse the election results in Pennsylvania. The new deadline is Tuesday, significant because after that the result is immune from challenges and slates of electors may not be spurned in Congress.

The previous timetable was after that "safe harbor" deadline in federal law, meaning any ruling in Trump's favor would have come too late. Theoretically, the justices could now act in time to keep his crusade alive. But election law experts say it's much likelier Alito will actively put a spike in it rather than passively watch time expire.

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