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SCOTUS Rules Against Republican Challenge of Ballot-Counting Deadline for the Third Time in Two Days


The Supreme Court keeps delivering hits to Republican-led efforts to prevent U.S. states from counting mail-in ballots after Election Day. An identical 5-3 majority set aside three similar efforts in two days in a pair of battleground states: Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Tar Heel State’s top GOP lawmaker Philip Berger’s emergency application for a stay fell flat on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the high court set aside Trump campaign’s parallel effort.

In every case, Justice Amy Coney Barrett declined to participate and fellow Donald Trump appointee Brett Kavanaugh kept mum. Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch voiced their disapproval, only to be outvoted by the court’s liberal wing and chief justice.

While Alito issued a scathing statement on behalf of dissenters in Pennsylvania, the conservative trio was silent in the North Carolina cases.

Berger’s attorney David Thompson, from the firm Cooper & Kirk, did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

On Wednesday, Thompson denounced that the extension of mail-in voting as the work of “state bureaucrats teaming up with state-court plaintiffs to secure a state-court consent judgment substantially changing the rules the legislature set specifically for this election weeks after voting started.”

“To add to the audacity of this action, [the Board of Elections and its top official] are likely to tell this Court that it is simply too late to correct their unlawful behavior given the closeness of election day,” the 30-page memo continued. “This ‘reminds us of the legal definition of chutzpah: a young man, convicted of murdering his parents, who argues for mercy on the ground that he is an orphan.'”

For ballots postmarked by Election Day, North Carolina extended the counting deadline until Nov. 12. The state’s board of elections did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

This is a developing story…

[Image via Chip Somodevilla/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."