The Supreme Court has finally stepped into the presidential election legal fray but it looks like it will be too late to help President Donald Trump.
Justice Samuel Alito, on Thursday, agreed to review an appeal challenging the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that dismissed a lawsuit that alleged mail-in voting in the state in the 2020 election was unconstitutional, The Associated Press reported.
Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, along with other plaintiffs, have asked the Supreme Court to block the state from certifying the Nov. 3 election, and reverse the election wins, including that of former Vice President Joe Biden, until after the hearing and a decision has been made.
They believe that the way mail-in voting was changed for this election was unconstitutional because it would have required an amendment to the state’s constitution in order to be legal.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who oversees the circuit, ordered attorneys for the state to respond by December 9, and that date is extremely important to the election.
December 9 is the day after the safe harbor date of December 8, which means that Congress cannot challenge any electors named by this date.
The Economist’s Supreme Court correspondent Steve Mazie laid out what the date selection means in a tweet thread on Twitter.
“Trump election challenge now at SCOTUS. Pennsylvania state representative challenges election results in his state, saying it was illegal for the state legislature to expand mail-in voting late last year,” he said.
“The application goes to Justice Alito, who is assigned to handle such requests from this region of the country. He told Pennsylvania officials tonight to respond to the lawsuit in writing by December 9.
“Six days from now is an eternity on the electoral clock: Safe-harbor deadline (by which states must confirm results to make them “conclusive”) is Dec. 8, electoral college votes on Dec. 14. By the time Kelly files final brief on Dec. 10 or so, the challenge will be moot,” he said.
NEW: Trump election challenge now at SCOTUS. Pennsylvania state representative challenges election results in his state, saying it was illegal for state legislature to expand mail-in voting late last year. pic.twitter.com/hVra2LJLvP
— Steven Mazie (@stevenmazie) December 4, 2020
Justice Alito had to weigh in on the election before, namely last month when he ruled that ballots received after November 3 must be segregated.
“Until today, this Court was not informed that the guidance issued on October 28, which had an important bearing on the question whether to order special treatment of the ballots in question, had been modified,” he said. “The application received today also informs the Court that neither the applicant nor the Secretary has been able to verify that all boards are complying with the Secretary’s guidance, which, it is alleged, is not legally binding on them. I am immediately referring this application to the Conference and direct that any response be filed as soon as possible but in any event no later than 2 p.m. tomorrow, November 7, 2020.”
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