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Saturday, March 2, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Biden Calls for Healing as Trump Vows Legal Fight

(CN) – After a day where Americans took to the streets to dance, cheer and pop bubbly in celebration of the 2020 presidential race being called for Joe Biden, the president-elect called for healing from divisive politics, saying he would be a president for all Americans.

Biden’s speech comes even as the Trump campaign claims it is preparing lawsuits to challenge the election.

“With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country — and a thirst for justice — let us be the nation that we know we can be: a nation united, a nation strengthened, a nation healed,” Biden said.

Biden jogged out on a stage set up at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware, which sits next to the Christina River, wearing a light blue tie and a black mask to cheers of “Joe! Joe! Joe!”

Supporters waited for Biden’s address in a lot of parked cars, waiving American Flags and blue glow sticks.

His administration's first priority, Biden said, would be working to control the Covid-19 pandemic and that starts before the first day in the White House. Monday, he would name a group of transition advisors to create an "action blueprint" to implement his plan to fight the virus.

“That plan will be built on bedrock science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern,” Biden said. “I will spare no effort — none — or any commitment to turn around this pandemic.”

He also said he wanted his administration to look like America.

Referencing the celebrating by Americans earlier in the day, Biden said he was surprised and humbled by the “outpouring of hope.” Americans had spoken, he said. The largest number of Americans to back a particular candidate – 74 million – had voted for him, a broad coalition he described as progressive and conservative, urban and rural, gay and straight, Asian, Native American and Latino.

But he was particularly moved by the support of African Americans during the Democratic presidential primaries, when his campaign was “at its lowest ebb,” buoying it forward to sweep Super Tuesday.

Speaking to supporters of Trump, Biden said he understood their disappointment. “I’ve lost a couple times myself,” he said. "But now let's give each other a chance."

Quoting from the biblical book of Ecclesiastes, Biden pressed it was a time to heal.

“To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemies,” Biden said. “They are not our enemies. They are Americans.”

With a bold voice, he said the mandate from the American people was for the political parties to cooperate.

"Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end here and now. Refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not some mysterious force beyond our control. It's a decision -- a choice we made. And if we can decide to not cooperate then we can decide to cooperate," he said.

Trump has not conceded the race, which is a departure from tradition in American politics but has no legal implications. And in a statement issued shortly after the race was called earlier in the day, Trump vowed to “start prosecuting our case in court,” bringing attention to issues his campaign saw with the election and tabulation.

While the Trump campaign said it would launch its legal salvo Monday, it announced it had filed at least one lawsuit Saturday afternoon.

The campaign, the Republican National Committee and Arizona’s Republican Party filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Secretary of State and election officials in Maricopa County, where Phoenix sits.

The lawsuit alleges because of poll-worker errors with using a tabulation method the county had not used before the 2020 elections, ballots that had irregularities such as stray marks and splotches were not properly counted.

When the tabulation machine would read these ballots as overvotes, poll workers would override the machine when it rejected the ballots by pressing a green button, the 17-page complaint said.

“Upon information and belief, up to thousands of other qualified electors in Maricopa County had their ballots rejected by the tabulation device due to apparent overvotes or other ostensible defects or irregularities,” the complaint said.

The suit asks the court to order Maricopa County election officials to identify the ballots the tabulation machines flagged as overcounts, review the ballots and not certify the returns until they’ve done so.

But the lawsuit may end up like the majority of other lawsuits the campaign filed after Election Day: one dismissed soon after it was filed in Georgia, for instance.

“Looks like the same theory already rejected in another case,” Richard Hasen, professor at University of California Irvine and an expert in election law, wrote in an email to Courthouse News about the recently filed suit.

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