USA Supreme Court dismisses Case of Trump allies' challenge to Pennsylvania election - VRGyani News

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Wednesday, December 9, 2020

USA Supreme Court dismisses Case of Trump allies' challenge to Pennsylvania election

Washington DC, USA:  The Supreme Court refused Tuesday to stop Pennsylvania from finalizing President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the state despite allegations from allies of President Donald Trump that the expansion of mail-in voting was illegal .

 

The action by the nation's highest court, which includes three justices named by Trump, came as states across the country are locking in the results that will lead to next week's Electoral College vote. It represented the latest in a string of stinging judicial opinions that have left the president defeated both politically and legally.

 

The Supreme Court Building - Supreme Court of the United States | Image Source: supremecourt.gov


 

By their one-sentence denial, the justices left intact a ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which said the challenge to a state law passed in 2019 came far too late. New Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett appeared to have participated in the case; no dissents or recusals were noted.

 

Led by conservative Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., the challengers claimed that the Republican-led state legislature's expansion of absentee voting violated the Pennsylvania Constitution. Rather than going to court after its passage, however, they waited until the state figured prominently in Trump's loss to Biden last month.

 

Trump's own lawyers have still more lawsuits pending in key states, including Pennsylvania, where a federal appeals court last month rejected his unsupported claims that the election was fraudulent and ballots were processed improperly. To date, however, judges have rejected nearly all their arguments.

 

Late Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a new long-shot lawsuit to the high court, asking it to block Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin from certifying Biden's victory when the Electoral College meets Monday to formally select the next president. He claimed the four states used the coronavirus pandemic as a pretext to change voting rules unconstitutionally.

 

In the case dismissed Tuesday, challengers contended that state officials had no right under the Pennsylvania Constitution to expand mail-in voting in 2019, and the state Supreme Court was wrong to uphold that statute. The group called it "an unconstitutional, no-excuse absentee voting scheme."

 

"Pennsylvania’s General Assembly exceeded its powers by unconstitutionally allowing no-excuse absentee voting, including for federal offices, in the election," the challengers argued in court papers. As a result, the election was "conducted illegally."

 

The group sought an emergency injunction from the nation's highest court to block the completion of any remaining steps in the state's certification of Pennsylvania's 2020 election results, which took place two weeks ago. 

 

The effort was a long shot from the start, particularly since it would have erased the votes of millions of law-abiding citizens without even claiming that any fraud was committed. What's more, the Supreme Court is disinclined to overrule actions taken by state courts in regard to state issues. On Monday, the state's Republican Party, 23 Republicans members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and 32 Republican state legislators filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting Kelly and his fellow challengers. Without high court action, the House members said they feared "the additional cynicism and rot that Pennsylvania’s actions will inflict on our national body politic."

 

Attorneys for the state responded Tuesday, accusing challengers of asking the high court to undertake "one of the most dramatic, disruptive invocations of judicial power in the history of the Republic." "After waiting over a year to challenge Act 77, and engaging in procedural gamesmanship along the way, they come to this court with unclean hands and ask it to disenfranchise an entire state," they argued. "They make that request without any acknowledgment of the staggering upheaval, turmoil, and acrimony it would unleash.... Their suit is nothing less than an affront to constitutional democracy."

 

Trump’s campaign has pursued a separate battle in Pennsylvania federal courts to block or rescind the certification of the state’s election results. However, two lower federal courts issued scathing rulings that said the campaign lacked legal standing to pursue the case, as well as any specific allegations or evidence. The state court case was filed Nov. 21, more than two weeks after Election Day and about a year after the Pennsylvania General Assembly approved what's known as Act 77, a major overhaul of the state's election code.

 

The change included the first authorization of wide-scale mail-in voting in the state's history. This year's presidential race marked the first time the changes were in effect for a Pennsylvania general election. Gov. Thomas Wolf, a Democrat, certified Pennsylvania's election results three days after the petition was filed in state court. The certification showed that Biden beat Trump in the state by a 80,555-vote margin.


Story Originally Published on USA Today by Richard Wolf

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