The Supreme Court will set a date for the state’s response in Mike Kelly’s election lawsuit. Is it a day late?


Samuel Alito, the U.S. Supreme Court, set late Thursday a deadline for Pennsylvania officials to respond to a request to throw out the state’s postal voting results – or possibly the entire election.

But the set date – December 9 – is the day after the “safe harbor” deadline, a day set by the federal government for the election of voters by states. That means, experts say, the court is unlikely to overthrow Pennsylvania’s election results, which have declared Joe Biden the winner of the presidential race with more than 80,000 votes.

“If we read between the lines, if the Supreme Court was interested in a serious issue, we would have asked the state to respond before the safe harbor date,” said Bruce Ledewitz, a professor of constitutional law at Duquesne University. – I just don’t see that they want to wade into this.

If the Supreme Court had seriously considered suspending the appointment of Pennsylvania Biden’s voters, Ledewitz said it could have asked for an immediate response from the state.

U.S. MP Mike Kelly, alongside Republican Congressman Sean Parnell, a Republican congressman, originally filed a petition with the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court alleging that Act 77, which significantly expanded the state’s postal vote in October 2019, was unconstitutional.

Kelly’s congressional district includes counties in Erie, Crawford, Mercer, and Lawrence, as well as parts of Butler County, while Parnell’s U.S. reporter, Conor Lamb, D-Mt. Lebanon, to represent a district that includes the whole of Beaver County and parts of Allegheny and Butler counties.

The petition claimed that the only way to increase postal voting was to amend the constitution and that the passage of the law by the general assembly was illegal. They sought to disqualify some 2.6 million postcards, or in the alternative, the entire Pennsylvania election results. Instead, the petition asked the Republican-controlled legislature to allow the appointment of voters.

Although the Commonwealth Court originally won the petitioners by suspending verification of the election results, Governor Tom Wolf immediately appealed. The state Supreme Court unanimously dropped the case on Saturday, writing that the challenge had passed since the entry into force of Act 77.

This, said attorney Greg Teufel, who represents Kelly, cleared the way for him to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to adjudicate the case.

Jerry Dickinson, who teaches constitutional law at the University of Pittsburgh, said he expects Alito to outright deny the petition.

However, this does not mean that the petitioners are more likely to succeed, he said.

“It’s still unlikely that the court will decide a case that actually affects the safe harbor deadline and overturns the entire Pennsylvania election based on postal votes,” Dickinson said.

Alito is one of the most sympathetic judges to these electoral challenges, he continued, which means he is more likely to accept the argument.

“You may be interested in the question of the constitutionality of Act 77,” Dickinson said.

But the Supreme Court does not usually make state decisions for reasons of state law, he said.

“It just doesn’t seem clear here about the legitimate, essential federal issue,” he said.

By setting a deadline the day after the safe harbor deadline, Dickinson said, “this will certainly make the success of the Trump campaign extremely unlikely.”

President Trump, who tried to sway state lawmakers to change the electorate, invited Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers to the White House last week.

State Senator Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, was among those who went to the White House on November 25 to meet with Trump. The Associated Press reported that Mastriano abruptly left the West Wing meeting after learning that the coronavirus was positive.

Trump has spent the past month demanding fraud across the country in election results and even sent Rudolph Giuliani, who has not been on trial in recent decades, to a case last month in downtown Pennsylvania.

The judge in the case rejected the campaign’s allegations.

“These are the statements [of fraud] they are simply unfounded, ”Ledewitz said. “Every time they ask for proof of a campaign, we get so many people waving statements and press conferences.

– That’s absurd. There was no fraud.

In the case that is now being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, Ledewitz says there are no allegations of fraud. Instead, it poses a legal challenge to Pennsylvania’s postal voting system. The appeal sought is unbelievable after two elections were held under the new system, he continued.

“Basically not American,” Ledewitz said. – By no means can you throw out the presidential election.

He was critical of Kelly for trying to try something like that.

– I keep thinking it’s not serious. This is not just a disenfranchisement of Democrats. Republicans are also being deprived of the right.

Paula Reed Ward is a Fellow of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Paula by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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