SCOTUS decision allows a lot of people to do anything on Election Day

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The Supreme Court of the United States came down with a decision on the election fraud cases today. They ruled against Republicans.

Basically, almost any official or not can do anything on Election Day.

The Court ended the challenges to election fraud cases today. The challenge to the extension of Pennsylvania’s deadline to receive mail-in ballots was denied.

The justices turned away appeals by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania and Republican members of the state legislature of a ruling by Pennsylvania’s top court ordering officials to count mail-in ballots that were postmarked by Election Day and received up to three days later.

Three of the nine-member court’s six conservative justices – Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch – dissented from the decision not to hear the Pennsylvania case.

The high court, as expected, also rejected two Trump appeals challenging Biden’s victories in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin based on claims that the rules for mail-in ballots in the two election battleground states were invalid. The court also turned away separate cases brought by Trump allies in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Arizona – all states won by Biden.

The case brought by Pennsylvania Republicans concerned 9,428 ballots out of 6.9 million cast in the state.

In his dissent, Thomas said the Supreme Court should resolve whether non-legislators, including elections officials and courts, have any power to set election rules. Thomas said it was fortunate that the state high court’s ruling did not involve enough ballots to affect the election’s outcome.

“But we may not be so lucky in the future,” Thomas wrote.

Go Deeper

“The Constitution gives to each state legislature authority to determine the ‘Manner’ of federal elections. Art. § 4, cl. 1; Art. II, § 1, cl 2. Yet both before and after the 2020 election, nonlegislative officials in various States took it upon themselves to set the rules instead. As a result, we received an unusually high number of petitions and emergency applications contesting those changes. The petitions here present a clear example,” wrote Thomas.

“The Pennsylvania Legislature established an unambiguous deadline for receiving mail-in ballots: 8 p.m. on election day,” Thomas continued. “Dissatisfied, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended that deadline by three days. The court also ordered officials to count ballots received by the new deadline even if there was no evidence–such as a postmark–that the ballots were mailed by election day.”

“That decision to rewrite the rules seems to have affected too few ballots to change the outcome of any federal election,” he added. “But that may not be the case in the future. These cases provide us with an ideal opportunity to address just what authority nonlegislative officials have to set election rules and to do so well before the next election cycle. The refusal to do so is inexplicable.”

“We failed to settle this dispute before the election, and thus provide clear rules. Now we again fail to provide clear rules for future elections,” Thomas wrote in his dissent. “The decision to leave election law hidden beneath a shroud of doubt is baffling. By doing nothing, we invite further confusion and erosion of voter confidence. Our fellow citizens deserve better and expect more of us.”

Alito filed a separate dissent, which was joined by Gorsuch.

“A decision in these cases would not have any implications regarding the 2020 election,” Alito wrote. “But a decision would provide invaluable guidance for future elections.”


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