Supreme Court will not hear case to oust Biden, reinstate Trump
CLAIM: The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case to remove President Joe Biden from office and reinstate former President Donald Trump in his place.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The Supreme Court has not decided to hear such a case. On Feb. 21, the justices rejected for a second time to hear a case that cites baseless 2020 election fraud claims to call for the court to oust from office hundreds of elected officials, including Biden, as well as to prevent them from holding any elected government position again. Several days later, a website published an article incorrectly stating that the case was going ahead, but the post has since been taken down.
THE FACTS: Nearly one week after the Supreme Court justices doubled down on their decision not to hear the suit, social media users falsely claimed the opposite.
One Instagram post shared a screenshot of a headline reading: “Supreme Court To Hear Case To Reinstate Donald Trump Over ‘Rigged’ Election.” It had received nearly 1,400 likes as of Wednesday.
The full article, which was published on Feb. 26, four days after the decision, stated that the court was “reconsidering hearing” the lawsuit “after previously dismissing it earlier this year.” It has since been taken down, and an article published on Feb. 28 by the same author correctly reports that the court rejected the case.
Other posts made days after the decision echoed the original article’s claim that the case still had a chance of being heard. They received tens of thousands of likes and shares on Twitter.
The suit — Adams v. Brunson, et al. — was previously dismissed by a lower court, and that ruling was upheld on appeal, according to court documents. It was then appealed to the Supreme Court in October 2022. The suit argues that Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former Vice President Mike Pence and 385 members of Congress committed treason when they failed to probe baseless claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
Further, it calls for the removal of these officials and a ban on their future ability to hold elected office, as well as “the swearing in of the legal and rightful heirs for President and Vice President of the United States.” It does not specifically name Trump.
In January 2023, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case and an appeal was filed later that month. The court rejected the case for a second time on Feb. 21.
Aziz Huq, a professor of law at the University of Chicago who is an expert on constitutional law, told The Associated Press that it is unlikely the Supreme Court will ever hear a case such as Adams v. Brunson, given that it relies on a false narrative.
“Certainly something that is founded upon the irresponsible conspiracy mongering fallacies that this petition is based upon seems to me an unlikely fodder for the Supreme Court,” he said.
This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.