The claim: Donald Trump can be reinstated by the Supreme Court’s decision in Moore v. Harper
The Supreme Court returned for its 2022-2023 term in October and prepared to hear new cases, including those related to the power of state legislatures, discrimination against LGBTQ people and race-conscious college admissions policies.
But an ongoing Supreme Court case has been getting a lot of attention on social media: Moore v. Harper. A viral Facebook video claims the case could lead to former President Donald Trump being reinstated to the nation’s highest office.
“Breaking! President Trump can be immediately reinstated by this Supreme Court decision!” reads the caption of the Oct. 5 post.
The video, which has been viewed more than 20,000 times, includes screenshots of posts from Trump’s Truth Social account, one of which mentions Moore v. Harper but doesn’t make the claim in the video caption. Similar posts have garnered hundreds of views on Facebook and Rumble.
But the claim is baseless.
Experts say there is no mechanism to reinstate Trump as president. Constitutional law experts told USA TODAY that Moore v. Harper has nothing to do with the 2020 election.
USA TODAY reached out to the social media users who shared the claim for comment.
Biden legitimately won the election
President Joe Biden won 306 electoral votes compared to Trump’s 232 in the 2020 presidential election, in addition to winning the popular vote 81 million to 74 million. Numerous recounts, assessments and forensic audits have confirmed that these results are legit, as USA TODAY previously reported.
As the Trump campaign and its allies filed state and federal lawsuits to challenge the election results, all those lawsuits were dismissed or failed, including those brought before the Supreme Court.
Fact checking: How we know the 2020 election results were legit, not ‘rigged’ as Donald Trump claims
There is also no constitutional mechanism to “reinstate” a former president after the House and Senate jointly tally the electoral votes and the new president is sworn in, said Theodore Rave, a constitutional law expert at the U.S. University of Texas at Austin.
“Congress determined that the electoral votes certified by the states in accordance with the outcome of the November 3, 2020 election were valid and that all competing lists of voters – whether nominated by state legislatures, self-appointed or appointed by someone else – were invalid,” he said.
At this point, Trump cannot become president without winning future elections, Chris Edelson, an assistant professor of government at American University, told USA TODAY in an email.
The Moore v. Harper ruling will not lead to Trump’s reinstatement
A decision on Moore v. Harper is expected next year, but according to Rave, no outcome will lead to Trump’s reinstatement. That’s because the case has nothing to do with reviewing the results of the 2020 presidential election. Any Supreme Court decision would potentially affect future federal elections, but not past ones, as USA TODAY reported.
The case emerged after the North Carolina Supreme Court struck down congressional districts that the state legislature had identified as an illegal gerrymander violating the North Carolina Constitution, Rave said.
At the heart of the matter is a clause in the Constitution that delegates responsibility for federal election rules to state legislatures, overseen by Congress, USA TODAY reported. Some members of the North Carolina state legislature argue that under this clause they should have sole authority to draft congressional districts, regardless of what the state constitution or other state entities say, Rave explained.
More: How an upcoming Supreme Court case could disrupt the 2024 election lawsuits
In the Facebook video, the narrator claims that during the 2020 election, state legislators from seven different states proposed separate voters for Trump. The narrator further argues that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of North Carolina state legislators in Moore v. Harper, those voters would be valid and flip the seven states “constitutionally and legally”, making Trump the president.
But experts said this is nonsense.
Edelson said there were no dueling voters in a legitimate sense. However, there is evidence of an attempt by Trump and his allies to use false voter slates to overturn the 2020 election, as USA TODAY previously reported.
These bogus voters convened on December 14, 2020, in seven states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada, and Wisconsin — and signed documents falsely claiming to be the “duly elected” voters from their respective states goods. The Trump campaign’s request, as USA TODAY previously reported.
The Jan. 6 to Dec. 19 commission recommended that the Justice Department charge Trump — among other things — with conspiracy to make a false statement for his role in the plan to file alternate rosters.
Lead Stories also debunked the Moore v. Harper claim.
Our assessment: False
Based on our research, we rate the claim that Trump can be reinstated by the Supreme Court’s decision on Moore v. Harper as FALSE. There is no constitutional mechanism for reinstating a former president. Congress determined that the state-certified electoral votes for the 2020 election were valid. No ruling in the Moore v. Harper case will lead to Trump being reinstated, experts say.
Our Fact Check Resources:
Main Stories, Oct. 10, Fact Check: President Trump Would NOT Be Immediate Reinstated by a Supreme Court Decision — It’s about a 2020 Election Redistribution
Rick Pildes, October 14, email exchange with USA TODAY
Frank Bowman, Oct. 14-17, telephone interview with USA TODAY
Chris Edelson, October 14, email exchange with USA TODAY
Theodore Rave, October 14-17, email exchange with USA TODAY
Kermit Roosevelt, October 17, email exchange with USA TODAY
USA TODAY, October 3, OnPolitics: The Supreme Court returns with important questions and cases
USA TODAY, October 3, the Supreme Court begins a new term with controversial cases – and a new judge
USA TODAY, September 30, Supreme Court: A look at the key cases and questions pending in the country’s Supreme Court
USA TODAY, July 11, How an upcoming Supreme Court case could disrupt 2024 election laws, lawsuits
USA TODAY, July 19, Fact Check: False Claim Supreme Court Overturned 2020 Election
Associated Press, February 22, 2021, Supreme Court Rejects Trump Election Challenges
NBC News, Sept. 21, Dozens of Trump rogue voters, many under investigation, still hold powerful GOP jobs in key states
UNITED STATES TODAY, June 22, As new details of the Trump team’s fake voter scheme emerge, here’s what we know
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact Check: Trump’s False Claim Can Be Reinstated by Moore v. Harper