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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Tersely Declines to Help GOP Lawmaker Block His Own Election Win


The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania refused on Thursday to stay its order rejecting Republican Rep. Mike Kelly’s effort to overturn the certification of an election that he won and outgoing President Donald Trump lost decisively.

Like its initial order declining to block certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, Pennsylvania’s highest court was unanimous in rejecting Kelly’s 34-page emergency application for a stay—and much more concise than the appellant.

AND NOW, this 3rd day of December, 2020, the Emergency Application for Stay of this Court’s Order of November 28, 2020 is DENIED,” the seven-justice panel wrote in the entirety of the per curium order.

Kelly’s lawyer Greg Teufel, who specializes in breach of contract disputes, responded to the ruling in an email: “We are this afternoon filing an Emergency Application for Writ of Injunction.”

Filed in the U.S. Supreme Court later that day, Teufel asked the justices to issue an injunction that would forbid Pennsylvania from taking any action to “tabulate, compute, canvass, certify, or otherwise finalize the results of the Election as to the federal offices,” nevermind that Kelly himself holds a federal office to which he was re-elected.

The congressman waited more than a year and multiple election cycles to find fault with Pennsylvania’s Act 77, which changed the way the Keystone State handled mail-in voting.

“The want of due diligence demonstrated in this matter is unmistakable,” the state’s Supreme Court wrote on Nov. 28.

In a separate concurrence, Justice David Wecht made clear that the legal arguments Kelly brought forward were a far cry from the election fraud rhetoric peddled by his ideological fellow travelers.

“They have failed to allege that even a single mail-in ballot was fraudulently cast or counted,” Wecht noted. “Notably, these Petitioners sought to intervene in a federal lawsuit in which the campaign of President Donald J. Trump—an ostensible beneficiary of Petitioners’ efforts to disenfranchise more than one third of the Commonwealth’s electorate—explicitly disclaimed any allegation of fraud in the conduct of Pennsylvania’s General Election.”

To drive home the point, Wecht quoted Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s admission before U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann: “This is not a fraud case,” which the Third Circuit Court of Appeals also cited in rejecting the federal litigation.

Read Rep. Kelly’s Supreme Court petition below:

Update — 8:09 p.m. ET: Information about Rep. Kelly’s application for a U.S. Supreme Court has been added to the story.

[Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."