Latest on 2020 election and SCOTUS battle

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 9:40 a.m. ET, October 1, 2020
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12:02 p.m. ET, September 24, 2020

Crowd booing and chanting "honor her wish" as Trump arrives to honor RBG

From CNN's Allie Malloy 

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived at the Supreme Court to pay their respects to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and were met with boos and chants of “Honor Her Wish.” People could also be heard chanting "vote him out."

Ginsburg is lying in repose at the court today. Tomorrow, she'll lie in state at the US Capitol.

Watch the moment:

10:29 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

McConnell: "There will be an orderly transition"

From CNN's Manu Raju and Nicky Robertson 

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who rarely weighs in on comments made by President Trump, tweeted this morning: “There will be an orderly transition” and “the winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th.”

McConnell's tweet comes after the President would not commit to a peaceful transfer of power last night during a news conference.

See McConnell's full tweet:

9:57 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

Trump on SCOTUS nomination: "I think in my mind I have one"

From CNN's Allie Malloy

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

In a Fox News radio interview this morning, President Trump wouldn’t disclose who his nominee for the Supreme Court will be, but he did say that's there's a standout candidate in his mind.

“I don’t want to say who it is. You don’t know that it’s her,” Trump said when specifically asked if he will be picking Amy Coney Barret.

“She’s highly — I mean she’s an incredible person, brilliant and everything else. It is a woman. I have five women that I’m you know very much, looking at. I think in my mind I have one that I — I like them all. I mean to be honest I could put any of the five.”

When asked whether he would be meeting with Judge Barbara Lagoa while in Florida, Trump said: “I don’t really know yet. Maybe, Maybe not. I don’t know yet.”

On the process itself Trump claimed there was false reporting on who he has met with but did not go into specifics.

“There’s been tremendous false reporting. Not intentionally or anything, but they have me meeting with people that I really wasn’t meeting with. But I’ll be making a decision on Saturday," Trump said. 

9:58 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

Trump deflects when asked about refusal to commit to peaceful transition

From CNN's Allie Malloy 

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump deflected when asked about his refusal Wednesday to commit to a peaceful transition of power, saying it’s a “double standard” pointing to comments by Hillary Clinton that Joe Biden should not concede if the election is close.

Trump was led into the question by Fox News host Brian Kilmeade that he didn’t “mean” he would never leave office but would wait until the Supreme Court ruled on the election, if needed. Trump then replied: “That I would agree with but I think we have a long way before we get there. These ballots are a horror story.”

When asked about the concerns that there could be a constitutional crisis if there is not a peaceful transfer of power, Trump deflected to Hillary Clinton saying she told Biden to “never concede.”

“It’s ok for her to say that but if I say I want the ballots to be fair, they make a big deal about it… it’s the same old double standard,” Trump claimed.

At the end of August, Clinton said if the election is close Biden should not concede saying: "Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don't give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is.

9:50 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

CNN voter panel says they’d be wary of vaccine if released by end of 2020

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Nearly all of the six voters on a CNN panel indicated they would not be comfortable getting a coronavirus vaccine if one became available this year.

“I think they’ve rushed the process, they've politicized the process, and I just don't trust the process. I do think vaccines are important, especially with deadly viruses, but this vaccine, I just don't trust it right now so I won't take it,” said Rene Rodriguez, a Florida voter who supports Joe Biden.

Other voters voiced their concerns about the speed of development and the efficacy of a potential vaccine.

The panel, on CNN’s “New Day,” featured Democratic, Republican and independent voters who have lost their jobs or have been financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Two of the six voters said the Trump administration could’ve done more to fight Covid-19.

“I don't think it was taken as seriously as it should have been. I mean, it's still being downplayed. Like, I’ve yet to see our President wear a mask,” said Felicia Rand, an Ohio voter who supports Biden. 

“The President was in a situation where he made the best decisions under the conditions,” countered Florida Trump voter Sean Roberts. 

Alexis Frost Cazimero, a mom of four from California who supports Trump, said she had to go to food banks to feed her family. 

“We were in tears a couple times. It's emotional,” she said. 

Watch more:

10:28 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

North Carolina absentee ballot requests top 1 million

From Pamela Kirkland

Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images
Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images

On Thursday morning, the total number of absentee ballot requests in North Carolina surpassed 1 million.

According to data reported by the North Carolina State Board of Elections:

  • 1,002,874 ballot requests had been received for the November general election.
  • 85,261 ballots had been requested by this time in 2016, a more than eleven-fold increase. 

Democratic requests are outpacing Republican requests by more than two-to-one.

State election officials began sending out the ballots to voters on Friday, Sept. 4. Since that time, more than 198,000 ballots have been returned to election officials.

Learn about the basics of voting by mail here.

10:15 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

What Trump has said about 2020 presidential election results

From CNN's Kevin Liptak 

President Trump on Wednesday would not commit to providing a peaceful transition of power after Election Day. It is not the first time he has suggested that he won't accept the election results or leave office if he loses. 

Here is a look at his recent comments on the topic:

Trump won't commit to facilitating a peaceful transition of power

  • (During a Sept. 23 news conference) “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens.  You know that.  I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots.  And the ballots are a disaster….We want to have — get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very trans- — we’ll have a very peaceful — there won't be a transfer, frankly; there'll be a continuation. The ballots are out of control.  You know it.”

Trump says the election will be decided at the Supreme Court

  • (Sept. 23 Oval Office comments) “But in terms of time, we go to January 20th.  But I think it's better if you go before the election because I think this — this scam that the Democrats are pulling — it's a scam — this scam will be before the United States Supreme Court.  And I think having a 4-4 situation is not a good situation, if you get that.”

Trump says the way Joe Biden wins is through rigged election

  • (At a Sept. 13 rally) “The Democrats are trying to rig this election because that’s the only way they’re going to win.”
  • (At an Aug. 20 rally) “So this is just a way they’re trying to steal the election, and everybody knows that. Because the only way they’re going to win is by a rigged election.”

Trump floats remaining in office even after two terms

  • (At an Aug. 17 rally) “We are going to win four more years. And then after that, we'll go for another four years because they spied on my campaign. We should get a redo of four years."
  • (At a Sept. 13 rally) “And 52 days from now we're going to win Nevada, and we're going to win four more years in the White House. And then after that, we'll negotiate, right? Because we're probably — based on the way we were treated — we are probably entitled to another four after that.”

Trump won't commit to accepting election results

  • (During a July 19 Fox News Sunday interview) “No. I have to see. Look you - I have to see. No, I’m not going to just say ‘yes.’ I’m not going to say ‘no.’ And I didn’t last time, either.”

Trump floats delaying the election

  • (In a July 30 tweet) “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Mr. Trump wrote. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

9:27 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

Graham says transfer of power will be peaceful and raises possibility of litigation over election result

From CNN's Nicky Robertson  

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham said a transfer of power “would be peaceful,” but noted that there may be litigation over the result of the election. Graham said he would accept the decision of the Supreme Court.

“We need a nine-person Supreme Court and people wonder about the peaceful transfer of power. I can assure you, it would be peaceful. Now, we may have litigation about who won the election but the court would decide and if the Republicans lose we will accept the result but we need a full court and I think that's possible before the election,” Graham said in an interview on Fox News Thursday morning.

Graham committed to accepting the result of the Supreme Court if they are needed to determine the outcome of the election, “we will accept the court's decision, Republican and Democrat, I promise you as a Republican if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Joe Biden, I will accept that result.”

“No matter who challenges the results to have election, eventually the supreme court is likely to hear that challenge and when they rule, that is — that is the end of it,” Graham added.

Graham's comments come after President Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power last night during a news conference.

During the interview, Graham reiterated his intention of getting a vote on a nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election.

“My goal is to get the nominee through the committee process with the meaningful hearing, a probing hearing, get it to the floor in time for Mitch McConnell to process the nomination, get a final vote before the election,” Graham noted.

9:20 a.m. ET, September 24, 2020

Trump says he thinks the election results could wind up in front of the Supreme Court

From CNN's Jason Hoffman 

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump said he thinks it’s important to have nine Supreme Court justices prior to the election because the results of the election could wind up before the court.

 “Yes, I think it’s very important. I think this will end up in the Supreme Court and I think it’s very important that we have nine justices,” Trump said on Wednesday.

Trump said there is a lot of time to confirm a new justice to the high court since his term goes until Jan. 20, “but I think it’s better if you go before the election because I think this scam that the Democrats are pulling, it’s a scam, this scam will be before the United States Supreme Court and I think having a four-four situation is not a good situation if you get that.” Trump was referring to unsolicited ballots being sent to American’s which he mentioned earlier in his remarks.

“I think it should be eight nothing or nine nothing, but just in case it would be more political than it should be, I think it’s very important to have a ninth justice,” Trump added. Of note, there were only eight justices at the time of the 2016 election.

Trump said he’s confident that the Senate can confirm a new justice before November 3rd, noting that many of his potential nominees “just went through the process recently” for other judicial appointments.

“I think the process is going to go very quickly. The hearing, I think Lindsey is going to call the date of the hearing… You can’t call it until you have the candidate and once you have the nominee, I will wait to hear what the date is, but from that point I would think we’d be fairly quick,” he said.

Trump said most of the Republican senators have already made their intentions known on voting for a Supreme Court nominee.

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri also said there should be a vote on a new Supreme Court nominee before the election.

Trump made a similar argument Tuesday night at a campaign rally in Pittsburgh saying, “We need nine justices. You need that. With the unsolicited millions of ballots that they’re sending, it’s a scam. It’s a hoax. Everybody knows that,” Trump argued. “And the Democrats know it better than anybody else, so you’re going to need nine justices up there. I think it’s going to be very important.”