Skip to content

Latest Stories

Top Stories

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

President Donald Trump

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

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

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.

All but one state appears to have entered the so-called safe harbor on time, which means Congress must accept the electoral votes cast next week when they arrive for tabulating at a rare joint meeting of the House and Senate, to be held Jan 6.

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter

The exception is Wisconsin, which has seen as much election turmoil as any since the pandemic upended voting and spurred a wave of litigation starting this spring. The state has been delayed because lawsuits by Trump allies, in several ways similar to the one from Pennsylvania that got spurned Tuesday, are on appeal to the Supreme Court and in the state courts.

The other suit before the justices, filed only Tuesday, is a claim by Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas that the state's citizens' political rights were unconstitutionally limited when rules for mail-in voting were relaxed in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and two other battlegrounds Biden carried, Georgia and Michigan. All of them have Republican-majority legislatures. They account for 62 of the 306 electoral votes Biden can legitimately claim, but Texas says all those votes should be disallowed.

The high court has the power, but is not required, to decide lawsuits one state brings against another.

Attorneys general from the defendant states dismissed the Texas case with an array of colorful language.

But Trump on Wednesday said he would put lawyers to work arguing the Texas side of the case, declaring on Twitter: "We will be INTERVENING in the Texas (plus many other states) case. This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!"

He offered no other details, such as whether he would ask his campaign attorneys or the Justice Department to get involved.

A Wisconsin appeals court will hear arguments Thursday on a long-odds suit alleging the state Elections Board permitted the finalizing of election results despite claims of irregularities in Milwaukee and Madison — and that as a result the statewide result should be tossed and the GOP Legislature should get to pick the electors.

Missing the safe harbor deadline does not nullify Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes, but it will make them slightly more vulnerable in Congress, where GOP Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama says he will mount a challenge he has not detailed. Still, it's essentially inconceivable the Democratic-majority House would vote to throw out any slate of Biden electors.

Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes, which Biden carried by 80,000 votes, were locked down Tuesday by a single, 18-word sentence ending with the word "denied."

The appeal, by Republicans led by Rep. Mike Kelly, argued that a state law enacted last year (with just one GOP "no" vote) allowing all Pennsylavnians to vote by mail without an excuse violated the state Constitution — and so all 2.5 million mailed ballots, mainly cast by Democrats, should be thrown out. Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, argued in his brief to the justices that their getting involved in such a purely state matter would be "one of the most dramatic, disruptive invocations of judicial power in the history of the republic."

Meanwhile, almost all GOP members of Congress are declining to commit themselves publicly to the correct answer to the question: Has Biden won the election? Some say they may do so after the electors meet across the country Monday, while others say they will wait until Congress counts their votes in four weeks.

Meantime, their refusal to agree on the facts is furthering the undermining of voter confidence and putting a cloud over the peaceful transfer of power and the onset of the Biden administration.

Read More

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Voters should be able to take the measure of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., since he is poised to win millions of votes in November.

Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty Images

Kennedy should have been in the debate – and states need ranked voting

Richie is co-founder and senior advisor of FairVote.

CNN’s presidential debate coincided with a fresh batch of swing-state snapshots that make one thing perfectly clear: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. may be a longshot to be our 47th president and faces his own controversies, yet the 10 percent he’s often achieving in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and other battlegrounds could easily tilt the presidency.

Why did CNN keep him out with impossible-to-meet requirements? The performances, mistruths and misstatements by Joe Biden and Donald Trump would have shocked Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, who managed to debate seven times without any discussion of golf handicaps — a subject better fit for a “Grumpy Old Men” outtake than one of the year’s two scheduled debates.

Keep ReadingShow less
Bar graph of shopping carts
Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

Have prices increased 40 percent to 50 percent since Trump left office?

This fact brief was originally published by Wisconsin Watch. Read the original here. Fact briefs are published by newsrooms in the Gigafact network, and republished by The Fulcrum. Visit Gigafact to learn more.

Have prices increased 40 percent to 50 percent since Trump left office?


Cumulative inflation since former President Donald Trump left office in January 2021 through May 2024 was 20.1 percent according to data from the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, or CPI-U.

Trump told a crowd on June 18 in Racine, Wis., that "real inflation" is more than twice that.

Keep ReadingShow less
Girl in a Christian school

Half the students benefiting from ESAs never attended public school — they were always privately educated.

Jonathan Kirn

Project 2025: Education savings accounts

Rogers is the “data wrangler” at BillTrack50. He previously worked on policy in several government departments.

This is part of a series offering a nonpartisan counter to Project 2025, a conservative guideline to reforming government and policymaking during the first 180 days of a second Trump administration. The Fulcrum's cross partisan analysis of Project 2025 relies on unbiased critical thinking, reexamines outdated assumptions, and uses reason, scientific evidence, and data in analyzing and critiquing Project 2025.

The “Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise," the Heritage Foundation’s guide for a second Trump administration is more commonly known as Project 2025. One section outlines an ambitious plan to expand education savings accounts, which allow parents to decide how to spend some of the public money allocated to their children’s education, across the United States. It recommends creating a model for ESAs by allowing their use by students in active-duty military families, those studying in D.C., and students attending schools on tribal lands.

Keep ReadingShow less
Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs on stage
Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs perform "Fast Car" at the Grammys.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Luke Combs, politics and healing our nation's divide

Nevins is co-publisher of The Fulcrum and co-founder and board chairman of the Bridge Alliance Education Fund.

It’s been a year and a half since I wrote about “The Great Divide,” Luke Combs' song written by Naomi Judd, Paul Overstreet and John Barlow Jarvis. I was moved by the tremendous response I received, and that article is still one of The Fulcrum’s most-read posts.

The lyrics are as powerful today as they were in November 2023:

Keep ReadingShow less