There are certainly a lot of ways to incite a civil war and leaving the Supreme Court with a 4 – 4 split is one of them. (More on that in a moment.) But the path to the apocalypse is likely to involve several schisms rather than a war over a single issue. State versus state. City versus city. And even neighborhood versus neighborhood. To have disruption and division at this level requires multiple issues that people feel strongly enough about to use violence.
There can be no doubt that the current Presidential election will need to draw upon the power of the Supreme Court to resolve the legality of the results. Massive mail in balloting opens the door for either side to dispute the outcome of the election and it will fall on the Supreme Court to rule on what is legal and binding.
It seems obvious that, no matter the results, both sides will claim their candidate is the legitimate winner. Both political parties will accuse the other of attempting to steal the election through fraud. They may even go as far as to both point to the same evidence as part of the underhanded tactics of their opponent.
In this situation, a tied vote in the Supreme Court will rip the country apart. And this is how that will look.
Both parties move forward with the conviction that they represent the legitimate winner of the election and have the right to command the powers of the highest office in the land. Which of course means that neither side recognizes the claims of the other.
Both sides call upon their loyal citizens to do what is right and oppose the usurpers. Political factions clash in the streets. People fight. Buildings burn. People die. Oddly enough, the Corona Virus might turn out to be a blessing in this situation. Less people are in offices and other public locations which might otherwise be among the battlegrounds for this opening volley of the war.
Order must be restored. Both sides call upon the police and military forces loyal to them. I suspect that most of the Armed Services will side with the conservative party and the President in currently in office. If for no other reason than he remains the Commander-In-Chief until the official transfer of the office to a legitimate winner. But National Guard units might be more willing to side with the local governments. Texas will undoubtedly fight for Texas as will several other states.
And that means CIVIL WAR 2.0.
Without a fully-functional court of appeals the loudest proponents of each side will whip the country into a frenzy and fall upon one another with vicious intent. When that happens – not if – God help us all.