Tags: 2020 Elections | Supreme Court | Voting Rights | scotus | ballots | pennsylvania | mail-in

Senate Dems Use 4-4 SCOTUS Ruling on Ballots to Attack Barrett

amy coney barrett gestures during his senate judiciary committee hearing
Judge Amy Coney Barrett (Leah Millis/Getty Images)

Tuesday, 20 October 2020 05:05 PM

Senate Democrats on Tuesday used a Monday Supreme Court ruling that split 4-4 on allowing for the counting of Pennsylvania mail-in ballots to renew attacks on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

The split ruling allowed the ruling of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court against Republicans to stand, and ballots received three days after the Nov. 3 election must be counted.

Democrats fear quick confirmation of Barrett will give another conservative justice to the high court, which would lead to opposite rulings, especially if the presidential election is contested.

"One more vote provided by a hard right, Trump-nominated justice could be the difference between voting rights and voter suppression," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday on the Senate chamber floor, according to The Washington Times.

Four Republican appointees to the court, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas, opposed granting the three-day extension in Pennsylvania, but Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, sided with the court's three Democratic appointees.

Republicans, including President Donald Trump's campaign, have opposed such an extension, arguing it violates federal law that sets Election Day as the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November and such a decision constitutionally belongs to lawmakers, not the courts.

In Pennsylvania, the state Democratic Party and a liberal group, the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans, had sought an extension of the Election Day deadline to count mailed ballots.

With about 2.8 million mail-in ballots requested and approximately 900,000 returned, Democrat-registered voters are requesting mail ballots at a nearly 3-to-1 ratio over Republicans.

In its Sept. 17 ruling, the divided state Supreme Court said ballots must be postmarked by the time polls close and be received by county election boards at 5 p.m. ET on Nov. 6, three days after the Nov. 3 election.

It also said ballots lacking a clear postmark could be counted unless there was evidence they were mailed after the polls closed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Senate Democrats on Tuesday used a Monday Supreme Court ruling that split 4-4 on allowing for the counting of Pennsylvania mail-in ballots to renew attacks on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
scotus, ballots, pennsylvania, mail-in, voting, amy coney barrett, judge, senate, confirmation
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2020-05-20
Tuesday, 20 October 2020 05:05 PM
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