Pennsylvania Supreme Court kills GOP lawsuit, rules it’s too late to challenge mail-in vote law

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On Saturday the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned an injunction filed earlier in the week by a lower court that had blocked the state from continuing with its certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

However, actions taken by 26 Pennsylvania House Republicans and 8 Pennsylvania Senate Republicans could potentially make the court’s late actions moot.

Three days earlier, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough had issued a temporary injunction in a case brought by Rep. Mike Kelly and seven other petitioners challenging the legitimacy of Act 77.

Signed into law in October of 2019, Act 77 granted state residents the right to request an absentee ballot without providing a legitimate reason.

In a suit filed earlier this month, Kelly and his cohorts argued that because of the law’s alleged illegitimacy, every mail-in ballot cast in the 2020 race ought to be discarded or the state’s GOP-led legislature ought to be granted the authority to choose the state’s electors.

McCullough agreed with this line of reasoning and issued a temporary injunction on the grounds that state legislators had violated the Constitution of Pennsylvania by implementing Act 77. The state’s Supreme Court disagreed.

In a ruling issued Saturday, the court argued that Kelly’s decision to challenge Act 77’s legitimacy after the election — and thus over a year after it was signed into law — showed that his petition is supposedly what’s truly illegitimate.

View the ruling below:

Pennsylvania Supreme Court … by V Saxena

“Petitioners filed this facial challenge to the mail-in voting statutory provisions more than one year after the enactment of Act 77. … Thus, it is beyond cavil that Petitioners failed to act with due diligence,” the ruling states.

In an accompanying opinion, Justice David N. Wecht accused Kelly of attempting to “subvert the will of Pennsylvania voters.”

“It is not our role to lend legitimacy to such transparent and untimely efforts to subvert the will of Pennsylvania voters. Courts should not decide elections when the will of the voters is clear,” he wrote.

View the opinion below:

Justice David N. Wecht Opinion by V Saxena

While certainly a setback for Kelly and President Donald Trump — whose fate in the 2020 race hinges on whether or not he and his allies are able to effectively turn over the results of the election — there may still be some hope left for them.

A day before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its ruling, a large group of 26 Pennsylvania House Republican lawmakers published a memo unveiling a resolution that would do the following:

  • Declare the results of the election “to be in dispute” …
  • “Urge” Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, both Democrats, to withdraw their certification of the state’s election results …
  • And “urge” the U.S. Congress to join the cause and also “declare the selection of presidential electors in this Commonwealth to be in dispute.”

The goal would be to pave the way for Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled legislature to to replace the state’s electors with pro-Trump ones.

On Saturday, eight state senators reportedly joined the effort, including state Sen. Doug Mastriano, the same senator who was temporarily suspended by Twitter after he hosted a hearing Wednesday to investigate claims of widespread vote fraud.

There’s just one problem.

Speaking on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” Sunday morning, Mastriano explained that timing is an issue because they “have one day before our current session expires.”

“The proposed resolution, if it gets introduced, has only a short life since the legislative session ends on Monday. All pending bills and resolutions will die at its conclusion,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Saturday.

Complicating the matter is the fact that House Speaker Bryan Cutler, a Republican, has reportedly “not scheduled any session days to consider it before the session’s end.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, also a Republican, issued a statement Friday vowing to stand by the “tradition of the popular-vote winner in the presidential race getting the electors.”

The popular-vote winner in Pennsylvania is currently Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Continuing his remarks on Fox News, Mastriano offered one of many examples of the alleged fraud and impropriety that’s been discovered in Pennsylvania.

“One of the most compelling [examples is] the data analyst who looked at 600,000 ballots that came in, and all except I believe three or four thousand went to Trump. Such statistical anomalies like that raise eyebrows,” he said.

Listen:

The data analyst he mentioned spoke at his hearing Wednesday and drew loud gasps from the crowd when he dropped the stunning fact about those 600,000 ballots.

Listen:

Vivek Saxena

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