On Tuesday afternoon, the Supreme Court denied the application of Congressman Mike Kelly (R-Pennsylvania) seeking to stop the state’s certification of the election for the Democrat over President Donald Trump. There was no explanation for the decision, or any dissenting notes.
NEW: The US Supreme Court rejected a GOP election challenge in Pennsylvania in a one-sentence order, with no noted dissents — this was Rep. Kelly's case trying to stop certification based on objections to a law passed in Oct. '19 expanding mail-in voting https://t.co/o1dkDSEIRp pic.twitter.com/Vrj0CeCxVD
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) December 8, 2020
Kelly argued that Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court violated the US Constitution when it failed to overturn the state’s expansion of mail-in voting prior to this year’s election, and sought to invalidate Biden’s victory in the Keystone State – as well as his own election.
In court papers filed on Tuesday morning, lawyers representing Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar had asked Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to throw out Kelly’s suit.
JUST IN – #Pennsylvania has filed its brief (requested by Alito) to the Supreme Court. They basically urge the court not to open pandora's box even if federal laws of the US constitution have been violated. pic.twitter.com/OId7w3GnNH
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) December 8, 2020
Before arguing against Kelly on legal grounds, the lawyers claimed that should the Supreme Court eventually rule in his favor, it would pave the way for future elections to be invalidated.
“Once the door is opened to judicial invalidation of presidential election results, it will be awfully hard to close that door again,” they argued, calling Kelly’s request “one of the most dramatic, disruptive invocations of judicial power in the history of the Republic.”
Democrats and their lawyers aren’t the only ones seeking to shoot down Kelly’s suit. In a separate filing on Monday, a group of anti-Trump Republicans argued that Kelly should have filed before the election, and claimed that if the Supreme Court were to rule in his favor, the ruling would open the door for Democrats to challenge any future Republican victories in the state on the same grounds.
The Supreme Court was Kelly’s last hope to be heard, after a succession of state-level courts dismissed his challenge. What seemed like Alito’s initial decision to hear the case had encouraged the president’s supporters. The conservative Justice, whose district of responsibility includes Pennsylvania, moved up his original Wednesday deadline for briefs to Tuesday, allowing the court to act before the state certifies its slate of electors for Biden.
If #SCOTUS grants cert in the PA election case, I have told the petitioners I will stand ready to present the oral argument.
Full statement below… pic.twitter.com/EnHxjqGR5K
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 7, 2020
Additionally, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has volunteered to present Kelly’s oral argument before the Supreme Court.
“I believe #SCOTUS has a responsibility to the American People to ensure, within its powers, that we are following the law and following the Constitution,” Cruz tweeted on Monday.
Kelly’s case is separate from the suit that Texas has filed against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, alleging that they changed electoral rules through “executive fiat or friendly lawsuits” and weakened ballot integrity, thereby harming other states that conducted fair elections under the US Constitution.
The resulting flaws make it impossible to know who “legitimately won the 2020 election and threaten to cloud all future elections,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued.
Less than one week remains until the Electoral College meets to decide a winner in this year’s bitterly-contested election. President Donald Trump has said that he will leave office if the electors back Biden, but in an unrelated press conference on Tuesday, said that “if somebody has the courage” to back his long-shot bid to hold onto power, he expects to remain in the White House.
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