President Donald Trump’s campaign legal team has filed a suit in the United States Supreme Court to overturn a trio of rulings that changed Pennsylvania’s mail balloting law immediately before and after the 2020 presidential election. While a positive outcome for the president in this case will not change the electoral count enough to award him the win, it could cause an upset when a joint session of Congress meets to certify on January 6.
The suit alleges that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s changing of the law was in contradiction to Article II of the Constitution and that the court’s decision was of “national importance.”
Article II Violations?
“Each State shall appoint [electors for President and Vice President] in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct,” reads the relevant Article. The lawsuit claims that electoral laws were improperly changed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, rather than the state’s legislature, and therefore that the affected votes are illegal. The case is being made that the court’s rewriting of the law allowed for lax oversight of mail-in ballots:
“Statutory requirements were eliminated regarding signature verification, the right of campaigns to challenge invalid mail ballots, mandates that mail voters fill in, date, and sign mail ballot declarations, and even the right of campaigns to observe the mail ballot canvassing process in a meaningful way.”
It suggests that up to 2.6 million mail-in ballots are in violation of the law and that 110,000 ballots were illegally counted. Should the Supreme Court rule in the president’s favor, this would be more than enough to overcome the 80,000-vote margin held by Joe Biden in the state.
The suit concludes that “In October 2019, the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania allowed for no-excuse mail voting for every eligible voter in the state, but it kept in place long-standing validation and observer requirements to protect against fraud in the casting and canvassing of mail ballots, which are ‘the largest source of potential voter fraud.’” And alleges once again that these “meaningful safeguards” were either dispensed with or altered during the 2020 election.
President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani released an accompanying statement, saying, “The petition seeks all appropriate remedies, including vacating the appointment of electors committed to Joseph Biden and allowing the Pennsylvania General Assembly to select their replacements.”
Giuliani asked the Supreme Court to make a decision before Jan. 6, when the joint session of Congress is due to certify the election results. This could prove troublesome as the justices are not scheduled to meet until Jan. 8. The statement further reads:
“The outcome of the election for the Presidency of the United States hangs in the balance because the selection of presidential electors is governed by the Constitution and congressional enactment, in addition to state law enacted by the Legislature.”
Could this be the last roll of the dice for President Trump’s campaign? With numerous legal challenges exhausted, and the Fourth Estate determined to see Mr. Biden ensconced in the White House, it appears everything hinges on this late-game play. The question many Trump supporters will be asking themselves is whether the president has drawn upon his TV experience and is – with the grand finale – saving the best for last.
Read more from Mark Angelides.