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Trump campaign asks SCOTUS to intervene in PA ballot decisions

Election 2020 Voting Ballot Delays
Posted at 3:28 PM, Dec 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-20 17:01:54-05

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the highest court in the country to step in and overturn several decisions the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made regarding the 2020 election.

The cert petition and motion to expedite were filed Sunday and asks the U.S. Supreme Court to fast-track the case because of the upcoming January 6 date when Congress will receive the Electoral College results ahead of the inauguration on January 20. According to a statement on the Trump campaign website, they are asking for the U.S. Supreme Court to "order responses by December 23 and a reply by December 24."

The court challenge doesn’t focus on allegations of voter fraud, like previous efforts by the campaign, instead it challenges three decisions in particular by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court regarding mail ballots. The Trump campaign says the state court overstepped its constitutional role.

The three decisions resolved multiple lower court cases, and did four things, according to the Trump campaign: prohibited counties from comparing mail ballot signatures to those on file, said campaigns and political parties can’t challenge ballots as they are being processed and counted, allowed limitations on observers to the vote count in Philadelphia, and allowed ballots to count even if voters had forgotten to fill out the address or date on the envelope.

The campaign argues by making these decisions, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court treated ballots differently in different counties and violated equal protection guarantees and took away the power of the state legislature to determine how federal elections are run.

“Collectively, these three decisions resulted in counting approximately 2.6 million mail ballots in violation of the law as enacted by the Pennsylvania Legislature,” reads the petition.

Click here to read the petition
Click here to read the motion for expedited consideration

If the state Supreme Court is found to have made an error, the campaign argues, that would mean “over 110,000 invalid ballots were illegally counted — more more than enough to have affected the outcome of the election, where the margin between the two principal candidates for President currently stands at 80,558.”

The filing also admits that it might be too late to change the results of the 2020 election, however President Trump may run again, they argue, and these problems could still persist.

“The legal issues presented by this petition, namely, whether the alteration of state election laws by non-legislative officials in the states is unconstitutional, will likely recur in future elections — including in the presidential election in 2024, in which Petitioner is constitutionally eligible to run,” the petition states.

Electors gathered last week in every state to cast their ballots, formalizing President-elect Joe Biden’s election win.