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Supreme Court inaction could trigger appointment of special counsel

By David Singer - posted Wednesday, 30 December 2020


The Supreme Court's failure to action a Motion to Expedite Consideration (Motion) of the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari (Petition) lodged by Donald J Trump for President Inc on 20 December could trigger the appointment of a Special Counsel.

The Motion was not docketed by the Supreme Court until 23 December when it appeared in the following form:


The docket shows that whilst the Petition had been served on the Respondents – the Motion had not been served.

In fact the Motion had also been served simultaneously – as the Affidavit of Service lodged with the Court made clear.

This error was crucial to the Court failing to action a timetable for dealing with the Motion before Xmas.

Until proof was received by the Court that service of the Motion had been effected – the Court could not institute a timetable.

The Motion had argued why expedition was necessary:


… the ordinary briefing schedules prescribed by Rules 15 and 25 of this Court would not allow the case to be considered and decided before the results of the general election must be finalized before the following upcoming deadlines: Congress is scheduled to count the electoral votes and declare а winner on January 6, 2021 (see 3 U.S.C. § 15), and Inauguration Day for the President and Vice President is January 20, 2021 (see U.S. Const. amend. ХХ), only approximately 30 days from now. These deadlines would expire before the completion of briefing, argument, and а decision on the merits under the Court's default rules. See U.S. Sup. Ct. R. 15, 25.

The Motion proposed the following first steps in the timetable:

Respondents should be directed to file their response(s) to the petition by 12:00 noon on December 23, 2020; and Petitioner submit its Reply Brief in support of certiorari by 12:00 noon on December 24, 2020.

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at

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