Note: Deadlines and deadlocks accumulate losses for Trump

A TAKE with Rick Klein

“This requires a brave judge or a brave legislature,” the president told Fox News on Sunday morning.

What Trump begs is unlikely to be breathtaking. But there seems to be quite a bit of a different kind of political courage, coming from state and federal judges as well as state legislators to put the presidency where the voters took it early this month.

The weekend ended Wisconsin’s partial recount – funded by the Trump campaign – with elected president Joe Biden actually receiving 87 more votes, with the results due to be finalized on Monday. The Trump campaign also lost another court challenge in Pennsylvania, this time the State Supreme Court challenged the votes of those absent.

Great attention was paid to the fact that Republican members of Congress were unwilling to state what was obvious – that Biden had won and Trump had lost.

But something profound has happened at other levels of government. Legislators and judges on both political parties have rejected the president’s increasingly extreme claims that he should be sentenced to a second term.

These allegations expanded even as Trump’s losses accumulated in court and state houses. It wasn’t nice, but the system still holds its own.

Last election: Joe Biden leads the referendum with a total of 80,104,118 votes and is projected to have 306 voter votes. President Donald Trump follows with 73,918,712 popular votes and is projected to have 232 voter votes.

THE KÖRÖS a János Verhovek

Now that Biden, who is likely to be sporting sneakers in the near future after breaking his leg over the weekend, is officially able to begin work on the transition, the contours of his administration will become increasingly clear.

This week, Biden will name key members of his economic team who are expected to be led by incoming Finance Minister Janet Yellen. This election, according to the president-elect himself, is attractive to both the progressive and moderate wings of the party.

But while he wants to build a team that balances the ideological divides that still remain very much in his party, it’s clear that Biden keeps his promise to keep in mind an administration that “looks like America” as it moves forward.

Biden has already appointed the first woman to lead the nation’s intelligence community, and if confirmed, Yellen will be the first woman to lead the Treasury in its more than 230-year history.

And on Sunday, Biden and elected vice president Kamala Harris have appointed an all-female team to run the White House communications business.

TIP a Alex Hosenball and Siegel Benjamin

On Monday, the Pennsylvania legislature will end its annual session – almost certainly without Republicans taking any action to replace state-elected voters with their own hand-picked slate.

Last week’s extraordinary public meeting in Gettysburg – with Rudolph Giuliani and Jenna Ellis Trump campaign lawyers, and in the president’s own phone call – led to promises of a GOP resolution to “appoint delegates to the Electoral College”.

But state Republican leaders have been saying for months that they will not be villains and appoint their own constituents. In a statement on Saturday, House Speaker Bryan Cutler and Kerry Benninghoff, the House’s majority leader – both Republicans – issued a joint statement saying they did not have enough time to consider the decision before Monday.


ABC News “Start Here” podcast. In Monday morning’s episode, Dr. John Brownstein, director of innovation at Boston Children’s Hospital and ABC News, talks about why school closures are being investigated as health officials fear a new onslaught of COVID-19 cases after the holiday trips. ABC News global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz is investigating Iran’s next steps after one of its nuclear scientists was killed in an apparent assassination. Jen Lada from our ESPN partners explains how COVID-19 led to a number of football championships at the university and in the NFL.

FiveThirtyEight’s Politics Podcast. Three weeks after the election, President Donald Trump is still unwilling to let go and is making an attempt to ruin the election results. His legal arguments largely failed in court, but his campaign encouraged local election officials to refuse to justify the results and suggested state lawmakers choose voters who would vote for Trump regardless of their state’s vote. In this part of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the team discusses how successful these anti-democratic efforts have been and what precedent they have set in the future. The crew will also look at how the government is responding to the current outbreak of coronavirus cases and ask what pollsters need to do about the declining response rate.

What you need to know today

  • President-elect Joe Biden and President-elect Kamala Harris will receive the President’s Day briefing. Biden and Harris then meet with transition advisors.
  • President Donald Trump will have lunch with Vice President Mike Pence at the White House at 12:30 p.m.
  • At 2 p.m., Vice President Mike Pence will chair the governor’s video teleconference on the COVID-19 response and the recovery of the White House.
  • Download the ABC News app and select “The Note” as an article of interest to get the sharpest political analysis of the day.

    Note is the daily ABC News service that highlights the most important political highlights of the day ahead. Please check back the latest tomorrow.