The United States Supreme Court said Monday (April 19), five months after the United States 2020 Presidential election, that it would not take up a case from several GOPs challenging changes to election rules in the battlefield state of Pennsylvania.
The unsigned decision sends yet another message that the Supreme Court’s majority has no interest in re-litigating the last Presidential election.
JUST IN: 5 months after the election, the Supreme Court won’t take up a case related to voting rights in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. The justices ordered the lower courts to dismiss the case as moot.
— Ana Cabrera (@AnaCabrera) April 19, 2021
Before April 19, the Justices had already declined several requests to dive into one of the most litigious elections in American history, denying petitions from then-President Trump and other GOPs seeking to tilt the election outcome in many states President Biden won. There were no distinguished dissents.
A professor at Texas Law (the University of Texas School of Law) and CNN Supreme Court analyst Steve Vladeck said that once again, the SC’s involvement in the 2020 Presidential election is going out not with a bang but a whimper.
The case was brought by a former GOP Congressional candidate, Jim Bognet, and 4 individual voters who argued the state High Court surpassed its authority when it ordered the ballot deadlines’ expansion amidst the coronavirus epidemic.
It was a hotly discussed matter in the weeks before and after the 2020 election as some GOPs charged that state Courts might not have the ultimate saying on their state voting rules.
The argument goes that the Constitution gives the state legislature, not the Governor or state Courts, the final expression on elections and how states pick electors. Critics of the so-called ‘independent state legislature’ doctrine say that ‘legislature’ is a broad term including commissions given legislative powers by the state Constitution.
After the US election, Donald Trump invited the Pennsylvania state legislative leaders to the White House as he continued to make false claims that widespread voter fraud had happened, although no Court agreed. Mr. Biden won the state by around 82000 votes.
Earlier, the US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit dismissed this case, holding that the challengers didn’t have the lawful right to bring the case. Moreover, the challengers wanted the SC to reverse that decision and hold that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court usurped the State’s General Assembly’s authority when it changed voting regulations prescribed by the legislature.
Steve Vladeck said the Court’s move on April 19 leaves the long-term legal query unanswered.
CNN Supreme Court analyst Vladeck said that by vacating the decision below and ordering the lower Court to dismiss the lawsuit as being debatable, the Justices avoided either tacitly approving or rejecting the analysis of the lower Court, leaving no federal precedent to govern the query of whether the Pennsylvania SC was permitted to extend the time limit for receipt of mail-in ballots last fall.