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‘The 2020 Election Is Now Over’: Pennsylvania Secretary of State Urges SCOTUS to Reject GOP Election Challenge as Moot


Attorneys representing Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar (D) on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to deny the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s petition challenging the state’s final vote tabulation. The commonwealth argued that the GOP’s claims are moot and wouldn’t affect the outcome of the election, which has been certified in Pennsylvania.

The legal challenge stems from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision that mail-in ballots would be counted if they were received up to three-days after Election Day. The GOP petition, filed in early November, asked the nation’s high court direct the state to segregate mail-in ballots that arrived after Election Day and not include the ballots in the total tabulation until their legal challenges played out fully.

The brief, penned by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D), asserted that in light of Pennsylvania certifying the results of the 2020 election last week, there is no longer any controversy or relief the court can order to satisfy the plaintiffs. Additionally, even the most extreme relief requested by the GOP—tossing all mail-in ballots received after Election Day—wouldn’t affect the in-state election results.

“The 2020 Election is now over. President-Elect Joseph Biden defeated President Donald Trump by over 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania,” Shapiro wrote in the brief. “Of the approximate 6.9 million votes cast, counties have reported only 9,428 mailed-in ballots that were received during the three-day extension at issue. The number of challenged ballots is insufficient to change the outcome of the Presidential election (or any other federal election in Pennsylvania). Nonetheless, this petition remains.”

The state also warned the justices against getting involved in a case that clearly seems designed to continue promoting Trump’s efforts to sow doubt in the integrity of the election with “baseless claims of fraud and illegality.”

“Those claims wrongly impugn the integrity of the democratic process and aim to cast doubt on the legitimacy of its outcome. This resistance to a transfer of power has no parallel in the modern history of the Nation,” the brief stated. “Particularly against that background, the Court should not plunge itself into the political thicket by granting a case that will not affect the outcome of any election, that presents substantial Article III defects, that seeks reversal of recent precedent, and that targets a state court decision arising from singular circumstances. “

Despite the GOP’s continued attack on the election, experts have already noted that that the high court’s failure to address the petition after several weeks is a clear indication that the justices “have no interest” on hearing the case.

Read the full brief below:

PA Scotus Brief by Law&Crime on Scribd

[image via SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.