The Trump campaign on Sunday filed an appeal to the United States Supreme Court asking it to reverse three decisions by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in which the activist court changed the state’s mail ballot law prior to and after the 2020 election.
As reported by Fox 2 Detroit, Trump’s campaign alleged in a statement that the PA State Supreme Court’s changing of the law was a violation of Article II of the U.S. Constitution and Bush v. Gore. The campaign’s appeal asks SCOTUS for an expedited review and reply by Thursday, giving it enough time before Congress meets on January 6 to “consider the votes of the Electoral College.”
The Sunday afternoon press release, issued under the name of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, explained the intent of the filing. Here’s part of that release:
President Trump’s campaign today issued the following statement:
“Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., President Trump’s campaign committee, today filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the US. Supreme Court to reverse a trio of Pennsylvania Supreme Court cases which illegally changed Pennsylvania’s mail balloting law immediately before and after the 2020 presidential election in violation of Article II of the United States Constitution and Bush v. Gore.
“This represents the Campaign’s first independent U.S. Supreme Court filing and seeks relief based on the same Constitutional arguments successfully raised in Bush v. Gore.
“This petition follows a related Pennsylvania case where Justice Alito and two other justices observed ‘the constitutionality of the [Pennsylvania] Supreme Court’s decision [extending the statutory deadline for receipt of mail ballots from 8 pm on election day to 5 pm three days later] … has national importance, and there is a strong likelihood that the State Supreme Court decision violates the Federal Constitution.”
In the lengthy statement, the campaign charged that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court “eviscerated” the Pennsylvania Legislature’s protections against mail ballot fraud, including:
(a) prohibiting election officials from checking whether signatures on mail ballots are genuine during canvassing on Election Day
(b) eliminating the right of campaigns to challenge mail ballots during canvassing for forged signatures and other irregularities
(c) holding that the rights of campaigns to observe the canvassing of mail ballots only meant that they only were allowed to be ‘in the room’ – in this case, the Philadelphia Convention Center – the size of several football fields
(d) eliminating the statutory requirements that voters properly sign, address, and date mail ballots
The statement closes with a description of the “appropriate remedies” sought.
“The petition seeks all appropriate remedies, including vacating the appointment of electors committed to Joseph Biden and allowing the Pennsylvania General Assembly to select their replacements.
“The Campaign also moved for expedited consideration, asking the Supreme Court to order responses by December 23 and a reply by December 24 to allow the U.S. Supreme Court to rule before Congress meets on January 6 to consider the votes of the electoral college.”
– Rudy Giuliani, attorney for President Trump
A long shot at best?
Assume the Supreme Court takes up the Trump appeal, and further assume it rules against the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rulings; all of which appear to this non-lawyer to be judicial activism at its “best,” with the PA Court all but appointing itself as an extra-legislative body and in effect rewriting state election law.
It’s unclear what impact a favorable SCOTUS ruling would have on the Electoral College vote as a whole, particularly given that Pennsylvania has just 20 electoral votes, and electors from all 50 states and the District of Columbia last week cast ballots, formalizing Biden’s victory by a 306-232 margin.
As I wrote in a Saturday article titled Trump: ‘Statistically Impossible’ He Lost, Promises ‘Wild’ Protest in D.C. on Day Electoral College Votes Are Counted, one thing remains clear:
If President Donald J. Trump’s presidency indeed ends on January 20, 2021, the man who promised to “Make America Great” and did so, for tens of millions of fervent supporters, will not have gone down without a final fight.