US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is asking PA officials to file their briefs by Tuesday morning in advance of the “safe harbor” deadline for states to choose their electors before the Dec. 14 meeting of the Electoral College.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito

Epoch Times reports – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito asked officials in Pennsylvania to file briefs by the morning of Dec. 8 in response to an emergency injunction petition filed by Republicans seeking to invalidate or rescind the results of the Nov. 3 presidential election in the Keystone State. Alito initially called for response arguments by Dec. 9 before moving the due date earlier by a day.

The new deadline signals that the Supreme Court intends to rule on the request for the injunction before the safe harbor deadline runs out.

Marc Elias, the top attorney leading the Democrats’ post-election legal effort and who last month called the same lawsuit “frivolous,” wrote on Twitter on Dec. 6 that he is “NOT worried about the date briefs are due” in the Supreme Court.

We cannot share Elias’s tweet because the radical Democrat attorney, who claims he isn’t worried about the Republicans’ claim of an unconstitutional mail-in ballot scheme by the Democrat, has blocked us from viewing his tweets.

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The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on Nov. 25 ordered state officials to not take any steps to perfect the certification of the election, pending a resolution to the Republican lawsuit. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overrode the injunction three days later, leading the plaintiffs to appeal to the nation’s highest court.

With the Supreme Court petition pending, the Republicans asked the state’s Supreme Court to stay its own decision. The court rejected the request.

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly’s lawsuit argued that the Pennsylvania General Assembly illegally enacted Act 77, a measure that vastly expanded mail-in voting statewide. The act overrode provisions regarding limits to absentee voting outlined in the Pennsylvania Constitution, a change that requires going through the lengthy process of enacting a constitutional amendment, which includes approvals by two consecutive legislatures followed by a successful statewide referendum.

“Beginning with the Military Absentee Ballot Act of 1839, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court consistently rejected all attempts to expand absentee voting by statute—uniformly holding that a constitutional amendment is required to expand absentee voting beyond the categories provided in the Pennsylvania Constitution,” the Supreme Court petition states.

“Act 77 is the Commonwealth’s latest attempt to override through legislation the protective limitations on absentee voting contained in the Pennsylvania Constitution, as interpreted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court over the last 158 years.”

On November 25, PA Judge Patricia McCullough issued an Opinion to extend that halt pending further hearings, and to set forth the basis for the injunction, which could be relevant to the appeal:

Additionally, Petitioners appear to have established a likelihood to succeed on the merits because Petitioners have asserted the Constitution does not provide a mechanism for the legislature to allow for expansion of absentee voting without a constitutional amendment. Petitioners appear to have a viable claim that the mail-in ballot procedures set forth in Act 77 contravene Pa. Const. Article VII Section 14 as the plain language of that constitutional provision is at odds with the mail-in provisions of Act 77. Since this presents an issue of law which has already been thoroughly briefed by the parties, this Court can state that Petitioners have a likelihood of success on the merits of its Pennsylvania Constitutional claim.

The Judge found, among other things, that the plaintiffs were likely to prevail on their PA constitutional claims, and that the matter was not moot even though PA had “certified” the results, because there were more steps to be taken [emphasis added].

Judge McCullough concluded: This is not a final ruling on the merits. It’s meant to prevent PA from taking more steps until the court finally rules.

Given how the PA Supreme Court has ruled previously on election matters, expanding procedures beyond what even the legislature adopted, I don’t see how this survives the PA Supreme Court. From there, the next stop is the U.S. Supreme Court where we know John Roberts and the three liberal Justice will defer to the state supreme court. But the Court is now 6-3, so a Roberts defection would not result in a 4-4 deadlock again if the 5 conservative Justices voted together.

One of the two questions now before the U.S. Supreme Court is whether the Constitution permits for the case to have been dismissed using the rationale that the challenge was filed too late.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed Act 77 into law on Oct. 31, 2019. Eight of the nine sponsors of the bill in the Pennsylvania Senate were Republicans. The state Supreme Court justices had opined that the plaintiffs had more than a year to file their challenge.

“Rather than provide clarity and address this vitally important and valid constitutional question on the merits, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court exercised its extraordinary jurisdiction to take over the case and dismiss it on the basis of laches,” Kelly’s petition states. “In so doing, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court violated petitioners’ right to petition and right to due process, guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, respectively, by closing all avenues of relief for past and future.”

 

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