Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Sunday moved the deadline for Pennsylvania officials to respond to a lawsuit filed by Republicans seeking to flip the state election’s results from Joe Biden to President Donald Trump.
The original date set, Dec. 9, is the day after the “safe harbor” deadline that frees a state from further challenges if it resolves all disputes and certifies its voting results. The new date is Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 9 a.m.
Republicans in Pennsylvania asked the Supreme Court to overturn Act 77, the state’s 2019 law on mail-in voting that allowed any voter to cast a ballot by mail. The effort is being spearheaded by Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., and Trump ally Sean Parnell.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said Kelly and Parnell were too late to claim that no-excuse mail-in voting was unconstitutional.
But Kelly filed an emergency appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, meaning Trump’s challenge is still alive.
“Pennsylvania’s General Assembly exceeded its powers by unconstitutionally allowing no-excuse absentee voting, including for federal offices, in the Election,” Kelly’s attorney wrote to Justice Alito. “The opinion below forecloses any means of remedying Petitioners’ injuries.”
“With respect to elections for federal office, both state legislatures and the Congress have specified roles inscribed in the Constitution as fail-safes for state failures in conducting elections,” their petition also said.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, certified the results of the Nov. 3 election on Nov. 24, giving Biden the state’s 20 electoral votes.
Alito, an appointee of Republican George W. Bush, handles emergency requests that originate in the states that make up the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit of Appeals.
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