Trump's Taxes, Election And Abortion Cases Await Amy Coney Barrett In Her First Week

October 27, 2020

Amy Coney Barrett is preparing to join the Supreme Court as the justices are ready to take action on a number of important petitions before them, including several related to next week's election.

Barrett will solidify a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court and will be able to participate in the court's action on the petitions, potentially giving Republican litigants an additional ally as the justices review the various requests.

Here a look at the major petitions awaiting Barrett:

Trump taxes case

The justices are primed to decide soon whether a New York prosecutor will get access to Trump's financial documents from January 2011 to August 2019, including his tax returns.

Last July, the Supreme Court, voting 7-2, rejected the President's broad claims of immunity from a state criminal subpoena seeking his tax returns and said that as president he was not entitled to any kind of heightened standard unavailable to ordinary citizens. The justices sent the case back to the lower court so that the President could make more targeted objections regarding the scope of the subpoena. Trump's lawyers told the lower courts that the subpoena was overbroad and issued in bad faith, but the courts once again rejected those arguments.

An appellate court ruled earlier this month that "there is nothing to suggest that these are anything but run-of-the-mill documents typically relevant to a grand jury investigation into possible financial or corporate misconduct."

Trump's personal lawyers then took the case back to the Supreme Court, urging the justices to put the lower court ruling on hold while the justices considered whether to take up the appeal.

If the justices deny the request, the subpoena can go forward although the documents will be shielded from public release because of grand jury secrecy rules.

Pennsylvania ballot extensions

Republicans in Pennsylvania asked the Supreme Court on Friday to block a ballot receipt extension that would allow them to be counted if they are received within three days of Election Day -- even if they do not have a legible postmark.

The lawyers acknowledged in the brief that the Supreme Court was divided 4-4 on an emergency stay request on the issue last week, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the liberals to allow the extension. It takes five justices to grant the Republicans' request, making Barrett's vote critical in the new request.

The GOP is now asking the justices to formally take up the case, put it on an expedited schedule and decide the issue before Election Day.

"Because the election is imminent, these questions must be answered immediately. Absent quick action by this Court, Petitioner's appellate rights -- as well as this Court's jurisdiction over the case -- could be lost," lawyers for the Republicans argued in the filing.

Former acting Solicitor General Donald Verrilli is representing the Democrats and urged the justices to deny the Republican Party's "extraordinary and unjustified request for expedition" and allow Pennsylvania "to hold its federal elections under existing

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