Posted by Amy Howe on Wed Nov 4th 2020 9:37 pm
President Donald Trump’s campaign told the court that “the Pennsylvania vote may well determine the next President of the United States,” and went to the Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon. In a 10-page filing in the Pennsylvania Republican Party against Boockvar, the president’s campaign called for him to join the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s appeal against a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling requiring electoral officials to count the postal ballots received by November 6 . The judges denied a motion by the party to expedite its challenge to the ruling last week, but a statement from Judge Samuel Alito left the possibility open for the court to reopen the dispute.
According to the ruling of the Supreme State Court, which was based on a provision in the state constitution, all ballot papers received by November 6th will be counted if they are postmarked, postmarked or unclear by November 3rd, election day . On October 19, justices denied a motion by the Pennsylvania Republicans to put that decision on hold while the party appealed. Four of the court’s Conservative justices – Alito and Judges Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh – said they blocked the Supreme Court’s decision. Judge Amy Coney Barrett was not in court at the time.
In a statement attached to the court’s order to deny the party’s motion to expedite its petition, Alito argued that it was “highly desirable” for judges to weigh the constitutionality of the Supreme Court’s decision before the election, but he admitted that there wasn’t enough time for that. He added, however, that the Republican Party’s petition could be decided later “on a shortened schedule”. Alito also stressed that ballot papers received after the elections, which were closed on election day, would be segregated so that they could be excluded from the results if the state court’s decision was later overturned.
In its motion to intervene, the Trump campaign argued that the Supreme Court, instead of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, should have the final say on questions that could determine the outcome of the presidential election. In anticipation of this possibility, the campaign said it would join the Supreme Court proceedings. The Trump campaign had “a direct, concrete share in the outcome” of the proceedings “and ultimately in the legitimacy of the number of votes in Pennsylvania”.
The Supreme Court ordered Pennsylvania election officials and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, who are defending the state court’s decision, to respond to the Trump campaign request to step into the case by 5 p.m. Thursday
This article was originally published by Howe on the Court.
Amy Howe, Trump Campaign, asks to participate in Pennsylvania Mail-In Election Challenge,
SCOTUSblog (November 4, 2020, 9:37 p.m.), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/11/trump-campaign-asks-to-enter-pennsylvania-mail-in-ballot-challenge/