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Online Vol. 107, Issue 2

Countering the Big Lie: The Role of the Courts in the Post Truth World

Edward D. Cavanagh, Professor of Law, St. John’s University School of Law

26 Jun 2022

This Essay analyzes the role of the courts in handling Trump’s election lie.  It argues that the courts were certainly correct in giving short shrift to Trump’s lawsuits, but further that the courts should have done more than simply dismiss Trump’s claims.  Had the courts aggressively utilized existing tools to identify and punish prosecution of baseless claims, including Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the courts’ inherent powers to control proceedings before them, the Trump election lie might well have been put to rest immediately before it could take root among die‑hard Trump supporters.  This Essay also suggests how the courts might more effectively handle future baseless and politically‑motivated election challenges in the post‑truth world and prevent efforts to debase the judicial process in their incipiency.

To read this Essay, please click here: Countering the Big Lie: The Role of the Courts in the Post‑Truth World.