Trump Campaign Takes Pennsylvania Election Challenge To Supreme Court

Trump Campaign Takes Pennsylvania Election Challenge To Supreme Court

Topline

The Trump campaign asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Sunday to overturn three Pennsylvania Supreme Court decisions that allowed more mail-in ballots in the state to be counted, which they say could affect enough ballots to change the state’s presidential election results, as the Trump campaign and GOP continue their quixotic effort to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the courts even after the Electoral College ratified his win last week.

Supporters Of President Trump Gather In D.C. To Protest Election Results

People gather in support of President Donald Trump and in protest of the 2020 presidential election … [+] outcome outside the Supreme Court on December 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)


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Key Facts

The Trump campaign wants the Supreme Court to consider rulings concerning mail-in voting rules like whether election observers can challenge ballots as they’re being counted and their access to the vote counting process, and whether mail-in ballots should be thrown out because of small issues like a missing address or date on the outer envelope.

The campaign argues that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did not have the authority to impose those rules, which liberally interpreted laws set by the GOP-majority Pennsylvania legislature, because Article II of the U.S. Constitution says presidential electors should be appointed “in such manner” as the state legislature directs, a legal argument that a Trump-appointed federal judge has already shot down.

Though the campaign notes that changing the voting rules “contribute[s] more to the appearance of fraud,” the case does not make any specific allegations or provide any evidence of voter fraud.

Election law experts immediately dismissed the Supreme Court petition as “ridiculous” and projected the Supreme Court will not take the case.

Even though Pennsylvania’s electors have already cast their votes for Biden, the campaign argues the case will not be moot and the results could change until Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, and threatened there will be “disruption…if the uncertainty and unfairness shrouding this election are allowed to persist.”

Biden won 306 Electoral College votes, and would still be the winner of the presidential election even if Pennsylvania’s election results were overturned.

Key Background

The Trump campaign and its Republican allies have already lost more than 50 court cases seeking to overturn the outcome of the election, many of which made similar arguments to the new petition. Though the Trump campaign and GOP have repeatedly signaled their hope that the 6-3 conservative Supreme Court would hand President Donald Trump the election, the high court has already shut down two previous challenges to Pennsylvania’s voting rules. Though the Trump campaign and Trump himself have tried to intervene in previous election challenges at the Supreme Court, this is the first time they’ve challenged a post-election case at the court directly. The campaign previously vowed to appeal a separate court case in Pennsylvania to the Supreme Court after it failed in federal appeals court, but never did so.

Chief Critic

“This is another doomed attempt to change the results of this election. It will not change the results of this election,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro wrote on Twitter Sunday. “I’m on it.”

Tangent

The Trump campaign is being represented by attorney John Eastman, who gained prominence for questioning in a Newsweek op-ed whether Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is a native-born U.S. ci

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