Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States are scheduled to meet in conference on January 6, 2023, to determine the lawful disposition of the case Raland Brunson (and others) v. Adams (and others), No. 22-380. Raland Brunson and two brothers allege that the named respondents (Vice President Pence plus certain members of the House and Senate) were officially responsible for lawful counting of electoral votes to determine the duly elected candidate for president of the United States in the national election held November 8, 2020. Electoral Vote Counting Dispute
The Brunsons further allege the respondents were presented evidence of competing electors (a Republican slate and a Democrat slate) respecting each of multiple states. Each slate claimed entitlement to be counted as official votes for election of the President. When such disputes between conflicting slates of delegates from the same state arise, federal law requires that counting of electoral votes be suspended for ten days for the purpose of investigating and determining which slate of delegates from each state is entitled to be counted.
Despite the clear legal requirement of a delay of ten days to investigate claims and evidence, Brunson alleges the named respondents ignored the applicable law and proceeded without delay or investigation to approve and to count the slates of Democrat electors from each disputed state. This violation of federal law requires that each respondent be removed from federal elective office immediately and be disqualified from holding any federal office in the future.
History of the Case
Raland Brunson and his brothers filed their case in the U. S. District Court in Utah, which provided no relief. The Brunsons appealed to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which held the case without dispositive action.
So, after nearly two years without a decision on the merits, the Brunsons filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U. S. Supreme Court. The petition enabled the Supreme Court to take the case voluntarily due to the importance of issues presented. Many such petitions are filed for various reasons, but only a relative few petitions are granted, usually to resolve conflicting interpretations of federal law by the circuit courts of appeals. The Remarkable Turn of Events
But in Brunson v. Adams the Supreme Court justices have ordered that the petition for review be granted so the petition’s merits can be determined directly and promptly by the Court. Moreover, the petition was not merely calendared for further briefing by the parties. Nor was the case scheduled for oral argument in the presence of the justices before a written decision is issued by the court, as is customary for such petitions.
Instead, the Court ordered that the case be submitted on the briefs directly to the Justices meeting in conference for disposition by the vote of those Justices present. The Court seemed to be saying: “Just give us your briefs. We’ll take it from here.”
Stated plainly, the actions taken by the Supreme Court indicate a distinct prospect that the relief sought by the Brunson petition will be granted by a majority of the Court – perhaps even by unanimous vote. That would be a most astounding victory for the American people, certainly historic in importance, and one that could re-shape and re-align political leadership in the nation for decades to come.
Those named as Respondents comprise almost all sitting Democrats in the House and the Senate, plus some Republicans, including then-VP Pence and go-along Senate and House members. Each may soon become ineligible to hold federal elective office. The Influence of Martial Law
How is it possible we may arrive at such an improved outlook for resolution of the present dilemma confronting Americans regarding their relationships with governments? Especially considering such a conflicted membership of the Court as exists at present, what could produce an outcome truly supportive of fair and trustworthy national elections?
The answer appears to have much to do with the Court’s awareness of the existing state of martial law in America. Is it not probable, even to the point of certainty, that every member of the Supreme Court would know if a state of martial law exists in America? Likewise, each Justice would likely be keenly aware of any potential personal exposure to the penalties of martial law. Such personal exposure might arise even from failure to grant relief requested in the Brunson petition.
Doing the right thing now might be precisely the judicious means of ameliorating ill-considered actions of earlier times. We are likely to know more on January 6, 2023, or soon thereafter.