Pennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification

Source: The Hill | November 28, 2020 | Lauren Vella

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Saturday rejected a last-ditch bid from Republicans including Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) to halt the certification of the 2020 election results in the Keystone State.

The court’s decision delivered the latest blow for Republicans, President Trump and his campaign to overturn election results in a battleground state that President-elect Joe Biden won by over 1 percentage point.

In an order released on Saturday night, the state supreme court vacated a preliminary order by the Commonwealth Court and dismissed the case.

“Upon consideration of the parties’ filings in Commonwealth Court, we hereby dismiss the petition for review with prejudice based upon Petitioners’ failure to file their facial constitutional challenge in a timely manner,” the order read. 

The ruling comes after state Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough on Wednesday ordered state officials to halt further steps to certify the state’s election results one day after Gov. Tom Wolf (D) certified the Keystone State’s results for Biden. 

Following McCullough’s order, Pennsylvania secretary of commonwealth Kathy Boockvar and Wolf appealed the order to the state supreme court. 

The latest order by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reverses McCullough’s decision. 

Originally, an emergency petition was filed in state court last weekend by the GOP ahead of Monday’s deadline to certify election results, a process that would solidify a defeat for Trump. 

Plaintiffs including Kelly asked the court to invalidate a universal mail-in voting policy that was signed by Wolf and passed by a Republican-held legislature last year. They argued that provisions that allowed expanded mail-in voting in the state were unconstitutional, according to the order.

“As a remedy, Petitioners sought to invalidate the ballots of the millions of Pennsylvania voters who utilized the mail-in voting procedures established by Act 77 and count only those ballots that Petitioners deem to be ‘legal votes'”, the order continued. 

The rejected bid is part of a multi-state effort by Republicans and Trump allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election in favor of Trump. However, election law experts have noted that law suits pressed by the Trump campaign and its allies are not going to succeed in their intended result.

Trump has still refused to concede the election to Biden. However, the president said this week that he would leave the White House if Biden is declared the winner of the Electoral College. 

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  •  Consistent #45024

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     EVERYDAY #45028

    The story going around the internet is that this PA case will be appealed to the US Supreme Court. But that case dealt only with PA issues, not federal, so SCOTUS would probably toss any such action. Lawyers for the Trump campaign could try to fold those issues into its federal case when it appeals to SCOTUS, but I’m sure the justices will reject them on jurisdictional grounds.

     Consistent #45040

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