The Trump Campaign files to intervene in the pending request to the Supreme Court about the Pennsylvania voting case

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By Robert Willmann

Pending in the U.S. Supreme Court is a document asking the court to hear and decide whether the changes to voting procedures ordered by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court are legal and constitutional.  Yesterday, the Trump campaign organization filed a request for leave to intervene and become a party to the effort to get the Supreme Court to agree to hear the case. [1].  A response by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and other opposing parties is due by 5:00 p.m. today, 5 November.

The day before the election, we discussed here on SST the activity that occurred in the Supreme Court last week about the presidential election, including what was directed at the situation in Pennsylvania [2].  The "statement" by Supreme Court Judges Alito, Thomas, and Gorsuch about possible review of the Pennsylvania case is available in that article in note 4.  The three judges made it very clear that:  "… the Court's denial of the motion to expedite is not a denial of a request for this Court to order that ballots received after election day be segregated so that if the State Supreme Court's decision is ultimately overturned, a targeted remedy will be available".  Realizing that the petitioner, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, would ask for that relief, Pennsylvania hurriedly gave "guidance" to the county boards of election to segregate mail-in and civilian absentee ballots received after 8:00 p.m. on election day [3].  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court had rewritten the election law that was established by the legislature of that state, which had required the ballots to be received by 8:00 p.m.  But the court changed the law and the deadlines.

The 63-page majority opinion by four of the seven Pennsylvania judges concluded that–

"… a three-day extension of the absentee and mail-in ballot received-by deadline is adopted such that ballots mailed by voters via the United States Postal Service and postmarked by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day , November 3, 2020, shall be counted if they are otherwise valid and received by the county boards of election on or before 5:00 p.m. on November 6, 2020; ballots received within this period that lack a postmark or other proof of mailing, or for which the postmark or other proof of mailing is illegible, will be presumed to have been mailed by Election Day unless a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that it was mailed after Election Day; …."

The "guidance" given to the county boards in Pennsylvania is for "mail-in and civilian absentee ballots".  Whether that description excludes some other types of ballots is not clear.  (Update:  It now seems as if some types of ballots received after the election deadline might not be segregated, such as military and overseas ballots.)

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia County Board of Elections has asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reverse a lower court's order allowing observers of election counting to watch from six feet away.  The Trump campaign filed an answer objecting to any change.  The Pennsylvania Democratic Party said it will not file an answer to the petition by the Board of Elections.

http://www.pacourts.us/news-and-statistics/cases-of-public-interest/election-2020/in-re-canvassing-operation

At this time, the case getting the closest to Supreme Court review is the one from Pennsylvania.  Whether there will be an attempt to have the Supreme Court get involved in the North Carolina case, which also involved extending deadlines, is not yet known.

UPDATE, 5:47 p.m. central time.  Responses were filed in the Supreme Court by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, who opposes letting the Trump campaign intervene, and by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, which does not oppose the Trump campaign becoming a party, but says it would be premature to do so at this time [4].

[1]  The Trump campaign asks to intervene in the Pennsylvania case 

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/penn_case_trump_motion_intervene_20-542and574_20201104.pdf

[2]  https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/11/the-us-supreme-court-is-facing-requests-to-stop-lawsuit-orders-that-change-election-deadlines.html

[3]  A letter and instructions filed by Pennsylvania in the U.S. Supreme Court about segregating some ballots in that state

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/penn_case_state_ag_letter_20201028.pdf

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/penn_case_state_instruct_boards_20201028.pdf

[4]  Responses filed by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/penn_case_sec_state_response_intervene.pdf

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/penn_case_dem_party_response_intervene.pdf

 

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17 Responses to The Trump Campaign files to intervene in the pending request to the Supreme Court about the Pennsylvania voting case

  1. Avatar Deap says:

    Two GOP state legislators were granted a permanent injunction against Gov Newsom’s last minute election law changes in California- the court ruling stated Gov Newsom was usurping exclusive legislative powers, when he unilaterally tried to rewrite these election laws.
    Gov Newsom was abusing his alleged health and safety “covid powers” to go on a progressive shopping spree. Hard to believe California courts stopped Newsom, but they did. Source of the power to change laws was key in this California case. Status quo ante restored.
    On a happier note, we will be reaping benefits from the ideological diversity Trump brought to federal judiciary for decades to come; no matter what the final outcome of 2020. God Bless Trump and the United States of America.

  2. Avatar JohnH says:

    If the Supreme Court rejects domestic votes postmarked by Nov 3 but arriving after Nov 3, logically they would have to reject overseas votes from the military, if they arrived late…
    Would they really want to disenfranchise the military serving overseas? If not, how could they justify such an inconsistency?

  3. Avatar turcopolier says:

    JohnH
    Military votes from overseas are “absentee ballots” for which there are long established procedures for verification. Every unit has a “voting officer who encourages voting and then checks the externals of the ballot for correct procedure. This is very different from “mail in” ballots.

  4. Avatar JohnH says:

    The legal difference between “mail in” and absentee ballots: a distinction without a difference.
    “ The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that election officials in Pennsylvania can count absentee ballots received as late as the Friday after Election Day so long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3.” https://www.npr.org/2020/10/19/922411176/supreme-court-rules-pennsylvania-can-count-ballots-received-after-election-day
    If this ruling is changed, could late military and overseas absentee votes still be counted? Is there an identifiable difference between the domestic and overseas ballots?

  5. Avatar TV says:

    Isn’t this just “wheel spinning?”
    Democrat-run states – Pa, Michigan, Nevada, Wisconsin – are NEVER going to flip results no matter how many ballots are “found” and entire cemeteries voted.
    Even getting to the US Supreme Court is a roll of the dice with 4 sure anti-Trump votes.
    Forget it and look for 2024.
    The entire political system – from Town/County clerk to the center of the swamp is dirty.
    Power corrupts;absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  6. Avatar Laura Wilson says:

    turcopolier…I fail to see the difference. I check my ballot for proper procedure and send it in. Why is the military system so much different?

  7. Avatar Leith says:

    I voted by military ballot and never had an officer check the externals. I mailed it myself and would have been offended and suspicious of any attempt to check it.
    Back then, pre-Limbaugh, I voted Republican. Never should have changed, maybe I could have voted in the 2016 Republican primary and made a one-vote contribution

  8. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Laura Wilson
    The military system is carefully constructed to verify identity, The mail in system is not.

  9. Avatar blue peacock says:

    With significant concern about the legitimacy of the election, it would make most sense to do a re-count in contested states with clear guidelines on verification of absentee & mail-in ballots and with poll observers from both campaigns present. The first step would of course be to make sure the voter is a resident of the county and alive. Then to make sure that the signature matches beyond a reasonable doubt.
    It appears only the Supreme Court can make that decision.
    I’m curious about some anomalies. For example the significant discrepancy between the vote for the congressional candidates vs president. Republicans increased their share significantly in the House. Why didn’t that translate to president in the same county? Is it usual for such large numbers to split ballots in a few counties but not others. Another is the huge turnout in Milwaukee which is 5 standard deviations from the general trend and unmatched in other counties in Wisconsin. What can explain a Philly ballot count released between 3-5am that showed a 135K vote count increase for Biden and none for Trump? It is unusual that a large sample of votes would have none for one of the major candidates?

  10. Avatar Serge says:

    The point is not about allowing Trump 4 more years, but to tarnish and cast doubt upon Biden’s upcoming failure of a presidency. This is going to be a bad four years.

  11. Avatar exiled off mainstreet says:

    They committed the perfect crime, knowing that proof would be nearly impossible to come by. When they stopped counting late Tuesday night, Trump knew the game was up. They probably reacted quickly in reaction to his speech, so faits accomplis of fake votes were presented early Wednesday morning.
    Fake results were printed out with Stalinist unanimity, and even signatures can probably be forged since scrutiny will be difficult, and they may come up with a bogus standard argument such as “privacy concerns” or any number of other typical bullshit excuses, as a reason to destroy the ballots before any signatures can be checked. I am sure that modern software reveals who didn’t vote, so it was easy for them to come up with the necessary names.
    While limited proof of certain elements of the initiative may emerge, the propaganda press and the power structure, including the FBI et. al, will be able to cover it up. This is my best guess as to what has occurred, and I think this represents a sort of seizure of power under the circumstances which will have major permanent consequences. As a further indication of skulduggery, bear in mind that Trump will end up with 10% more votes than the harpy did winning the popular vote in 2016. The fact the democrats ran no traditional ground game, using the virus as the excuse, is an indication that they had some “plan b” on the go. Biden, with his indications of incompetency and the family based corruption, was too weak a candidate to get 75,000,000 votes.
    The fact the media engaged in memory holing these facts was well-known, and any intelligent person had to swallow hard to vote for Biden, making it particularly highly suspicious that Biden trailed by 4% in Wisconsin, 7% in Michigan and 14% in Pennsylvania when counting unaccountably stopped. A plausible reason for the stoppage was that a target had been set for the degree of action necessary to get the desired result.
    This is the playbook in color revolutions where suddenly a “computer glitch” favors the yankee backed candidate in Latin American countries. The spy agency formula came home to roost, and this will set a precedent; a rubicon has been crossed and the legitimacy of the Republic is seriously impaired from then on. Since stability is based on consent, I foresee major difficulties as a result.
    How was this able to happen? The problem from the get-go was that Trump assumed that the traditions would continue, so he relied too much on the usual expertise at the beginning of his term. In my view, his major failure was at the beginning of his term when he failed to secure friendly leadership in the Justice Department. Another key turning point arising out of the same problem was when he let himself be convinced to get rid of General Flynn a month into his term.

  12. Avatar BillWade says:

    I’m wondering who George Floyd voted for.

  13. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Leith
    I can only tell you what practice was in my unit when I was a kid lieutenant voting officer.

  14. Avatar Fred says:

    Leith,
    Which state were you a resident of when you voted? When I was on active duty Florida required a witness signature on the envelope along with the voter’s.

  15. Avatar LondonBob says:

    TV what makes you think 2024 will be any less crooked? The demographics will be worse, the censorship harsher and there will be no opposing force.
    I see a few GOP Senators have now spoken out, I think this might be dawning on the rest of the useless Republican politicians now.

  16. Avatar Leith says:

    Fred – At the time I was registered to vote in North Carolina. I had been stationed there earlier and my wife and children were still there while I was on a 13 month overseas tour.

  17. Avatar robt willmann says:

    JohnH,
    The National Public Radio (NPR) article is misleading as to what happened in the Supreme Court. The only thing before the court that was denied on 19 October 2020 was a request for a “stay order” to block the effect of changes made by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to the election law in that state. The court did not say, “election officials in Pennsylvania can count absentee ballots received as late as the Friday after Election Day so long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3”.
    The issue of whether ballots received after election day could legally be counted was not before the court and was not decided on 19 October.
    The question of whether the ballots can be included in the election total was in a petition filed in the court on 23 October. The court has not yet decided whether to accept the case and that issue for a decision.
    The situation is confusing because parties have been coming in and out of the dispute from the time it started in Pennsylvania back in July.
    Two members of the Pennsylvania Senate filed a request for a stay order in the Supreme Court on 28 September, and it was the one that was denied on 19 October and which was the subject of the NPR article.
    On 23 October the Republican Party of Pennsylvania filed the request asking the Supreme Court to agree to decide whether the ballots received after election day could be legally included. Then on 27 October the two members of the Pennsylvania Senate who earlier asked for the stay order, plus two members of the Penn House, filed a request in the Supreme Court asking it to decide on the legality of the post-election day ballots.
    On 28 October, the court denied the request of the Penn Republican Party to speed up its decision about whether it will hear the case.
    So, to clean this procedural mess up, the Supreme Court has rolled those two requests up into one proceeding. They are calling it case number 20-542 Vide 20-574.

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