Trump campaign elevates battle over Penn election and mail-in ballot laws to SCOTUS
On Sunday, President Trump’s campaign team filed a last-ditch appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to reverse several cases by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. In those cases, the court changed the state’s mail ballot law before and after the 2020 presidential election. It is an attempt to invalidate the election results in Pennsylvania due to last-minute mail-in ballot maneuvers by the Democratic Party.
The president’s campaign alleged in a statement that the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court’s changing of the law was a violation of Article II of the U.S. Constitution and Bush v. Gore.
The petition cites a “related Pennsylvania case” – Republican Party v. Boockvar – where Justices Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Gorsuch observed the constitutionality of the state court’s decision to extend the statutory deadline for receipt of mail ballots from 8 p.m. on Election Day to 5 p.m. three days later. The move has been hotly contested from its inception.
The legal team is stating that the constitutionality of the court’s decision had “national importance” and may violate the U.S. Constitution.
“Article II of the Constitution provides that “Each State shall appoint [electors for President and Vice President] in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, cl. 2 (emphasis added). That power is “plenary,” and the statutory provisions enacted by the legislature in the furtherance of that constitutionally-assigned duty may not be ignored by state election officials or changed by state courts. Bush v. Gore (“Bush II”), 531 U.S. 98, 104-05 (2000).” the Trump campaign wrote in its appeal to the Supreme Court.
“This case presents in stark relief several of the violations that occurred in Pennsylvania. Together, those violations alone affected more ballots than the current margin of difference between the two principal candidates for President in Pennsylvania,” the campaign’s legal team wrote in its petition.
The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, Section 1 provides, in relevant part: “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
This is just the latest legal volley conducted by Trump’s campaign team in their ongoing fight challenging the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Trump refuses to concede and continues to allege that there was massive voter fraud.
Electors in all 50 states have officially cast their votes for Joe Biden officially handing him the presidency. According to the results of the election, Biden topped Trump by an Electoral College count margin of 306-232.
The Trump campaign’s petition to the Supreme Court asks for an expedited review and reply by Thursday, giving it enough time before Congress meets in January to “consider the votes of the Electoral College.”
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) December 20, 2020
If SCOTUS decides to hear the Trump campaign’s case against Pennsylvania, it’s not certain that it would fundamentally impact the certification of the Electoral College in Congress.
The new U.S. House of Representatives and Senate will meet on Jan. 6 to convene in a Joint Session of Congress to certify the results of the Electoral College. Any challenge to the certification would require a vote by both the House and Senate to toss out a state’s electoral votes. There are a number of Republicans who are planning to push that issue and bring it to debate. Even so, the likelihood of overturning the election at this point is very remote.