US religious leaders call for ‘free and fair election’

More than 1,000 US religious leaders, scholars and faith advocates have signed a statement calling for “a free and fair election” and urging leaders to heed “legitimate election results” regardless of who wins, reports BBC.

The signatories include senior officials from the National Association of Evangelicals, two former faith advisers to President George W. Bush, and retired megachurch pastor the Rev. Joel Hunter, who supports Joe Biden.

“America is only as strong as its people’s commitment to our democracy and the freedoms and rights it ensures,” the joint statement says.

While the statement doesn't name either presidential candidate, President Trump has been criticised in recent weeks for refusing to commit fully to a peaceful handover if his rival wins the battle for the White House.

US President Donald Trump had already made two Supreme Court appointments in his first term in office, tilting the court's ideological balance to the right

Following Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation on Monday night, many Democrats are worried the court's 6-3 conservative majority will have an impact on key issues for many decades to come.

But how have the nine judges - known as justices - voted during Trump's first term?

Recent cases involving abortion, LGBT rights and the insanity defence in courts have shown that justices are willing to cross ideological lines in making their judgements.

US election campaigns can start years in advance and cost billions of dollars.

Due to coronavirus, this year’s cycle looks a little different, but huge sums are still being spent ahead of 3 November.

In 2016, the US election cost an estimated $6.5bn (£5bn).