US election: Trump seeks to sue his way back to the White House

As counting continues in the US election, Donald Trump has followed through on his pre-election pledge to challenge the result in the courts.

While Twitter has already flagged several of his tweets alleging fraud as potential misinformation, the prospect of a protracted legal battle is real. More than 300 lawsuits had already been filed in 44 states ahead of the election, many initiated by Republicans seeking to overturn state laws on absentee ballots and other voting issues.

Since Tuesday’s poll the Trump campaign has announced several more legal challenges.

Protesters march in New York on Wednesday, demanding that all votes be counted as the vote count in the disputed presidential election dragged into a second night. Photograph: Juan Arredondo/New York Times
Protesters march in New York on Wednesday, demanding that all votes be counted as the vote count in the disputed presidential election dragged into a second night. Photograph: Juan Arredondo/New York Times

One question is whether they have a reasonable case that will stand up in a court of law. It is worth noting that most of the Republican challenges brought to date have been dismissed. Further, even if Trump was to win any of the legal challenges, a change would have to be enough to offset Biden’s vote margins, which seems a tall order.

Nonetheless, the prospect of multiple lawsuits means that a final election result could be delayed for several days or even weeks. Here are some of the cases that have been announced since election day, including several that have already been dismissed, although further suits may be forthcoming from the Trump team.

Michigan

The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in Michigan on Wednesday, arguing that it “has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law”.

The suit filed at the Michigan Court of Claims has called for all counting to stop until these observation rights are restored, and it also demanded that the ballots that were opened and counted while Trump campaign officials “did not have meaningful access” should be reviewed. However, the case was dismissed by the court on Thursday.