Using a single sentence, the Supreme Court dismissed a Republican party bid to block Pennsylvania election results from confirmation. The Supreme Court issued its singular opinion via one sentence, and without opinions from any member.
The suit, filed by Pennsylvania Representative Mark Kelly (R) and other voters, hope to overturn an earlier Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision. Instead, the SC issued a one-liner: “The application for injunctive relief presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied.“
Rep. Mark Kelly’s Suit
Earlier last month, Republican congressman Mark Kelly sought to disqualify mail-in votes from the Pennsylvania elections. In his lawsuit brought before the state courts, he said Act 77 expanded the definition of mail-in voting. The suit insisted that only an amendment to the state constitution can change voting rules. Thus, mail-in ballots that do not conform to the constitutional definition of absentee voting shouldn’t count as valid.
The lawsuit sought to delay or nullify the certification of the state’s election results. A lower court judge ordered a freeze on the certification process. However, the State already certified the elections and proclaimed Democrat Joe Biden as the winner. The state Supreme Court then threw out the lower court’s order. However, Kelly’s lawyers argued that the State SC violated their client’s rights. Specifically, his “right to petition and right to due process, guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution,” were harmed. The decision closed “all avenues of relief for past and future harms.”
In its unanimous decision, Pennsylvania’s state Supreme Court said that Kelly’s lawsuit happened too late. The expanded mail-in voting is already in effect for over a year. This means that petitioners can no longer challenge the law. The Supreme Court, by issuing its one-sentence ruling, affirmed its longstanding policy: they do not second guess state supreme court rulings.
Prior to the ruling, state lawyers urged the SC to not take up the case. They argued that the Republicans’ requests were “an affront to constitutional democracy.” Agreeing to the injunction would be asking the court to “undertake one of the most dramatic, disruptive invocations of judicial power in the history of the Republic,” they wrote. “No court has ever issued an order nullifying a governor’s certification of presidential election results.” Besides, state lawyers insisted the issue was moot, as Pennsylvania already certified Biden’s win. Asking the SC to overturn the results would be both “breathtaking and unconstitutional.”
A Flurry of Lawsuits
The Pennsylvania GOP suit is the latest among a flurry of lawsuits issued by conservatives. President Trump supports attempts to question election results while claiming massive fraud and widespread cheating. Most of the lawsuits fail to get off the ground. Many cases got outright dismissed. Meanwhile, Trump's lawyers had to withdraw a few due to lack of substance. None of the cases affect a significant number of votes.
CNN noted that while Trump promised that his team will continue filing lawsuits, his legal team is holding fewer meetings and discussing strategy. Of course, it doesn’t help that his two leading lawyers, Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, have tested positive for COVID-19.
Texas Files Suit
In a related matter, the Attorney General of Texas filed a lawsuit against the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin at the Supreme Court. AG Ken Paxton mounted a seemingly last-ditch effort to overturn election results in the four battleground states above.
Paxton charged that changes in election laws made by these states were unconstitutional. As a result, they weakened the integrity of the election results. As such, they cannot be “counted.”
Instead, he suggested that the SC order these states legislatures to appoint their presidential electors, instead of basing them on votes. Reactions to the Texas lawsuit ranged from good to bad. On one hand, it received an acknowledgment from the President (“FOR COURAGE & BRILLIANCE!”). On the other hand, it received scorn via colorful descriptions such as “utter garbage” and “wacko.”
Watch CNBC’s Nora O’Donnell report on how the Supreme Court rejected the GOP’s bid to overturn Pennsylvania election results:
The Supreme Court denial closes the Pennsylvania election results issue. Does Trump still have avenues left to pursue his case to investigate election fraud? Let us know what you think. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.