Federal Judge Rejects Republican Lawsuit to Invalidate Mail-in Ballots

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court the latest Republican lawsuit seeking to invalidate all mail-in ballots in the state. On Nov. 28, 2020, the court’s opinion rejected the motion to reverse the state’s vote certification.

The court was unanimous in deciding against the Petitioners. Five of the seven judges believed that since the Republican’s lawsuit was filed a year too late. The claimants should not have waited until weeks after millions of Pennsylvanians voted in good faith.

The Sequence of Events Leading to Supreme Court

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) and Sean Parnell, District 17 Republican Senate candidate — who lost by 2.2 percent — brought the case before the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, claiming that all states’ mail-in ballots are unconstitutional. The Republicans asserted Act 77, adopted last year, is not valid.

Act 77 changed the state’s absentee balloting option allowing all qualified voters to choose to vote by mail sans excuse is not valid. Republicans believe there should have been an amendment to the Pennsylvania State Constitution before any change was made in the election process.

The argument was enough for the lower court judge. On November 25, Judge Patricia McCullough issued an injunction to stop the state from certifying the election “to the extent that there remains any further action to perfect the certification of the results” for the presidential race.

It was moot since the certification was completed the day before. The state’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro tweeted the injunction “does not impact yesterday’s appointment of electors.”

The Reality Beyond Litigation

As of November 28, President Trump’s campaign and its Republican allies have lost 38 court cases since Election Day. Nonetheless, the president’s Twitter feed is filled with claims that the election was rigged.

Twenty-one days ago, the election was called on behalf of Joesph Biden. While Trump continues to claim — albeit, without evidence — that he is the victor, state officials certify the ballot counts.

On December 14, the electors submit their votes for the next U.S. President. Next, Congress will meet on Jan. 6, 2021, to count the votes and announce the results.

Finally, Biden will take the oath of office and be sworn as the 46th President of the United States.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pa. Commonwealth Court orders halt to certification process in down-ballot races; state appeals decision; by Julian Routh
CNN: Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismisses another election case brought by Republicans; by Kate Sullivan

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Craig Fildes’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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