BREAKING: Supreme Court Strikes Down Rewrite of State Election Law by District Court Judge — The Battle Is Joined

President Donald Trump, center, listens as retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, right, ceremonially swears-in Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, left, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. Kavanaugh's wife Ashley watches, second from right with daughters Margaret, left, and Liza. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

 

Late Monday afternoon, the Supreme Court issued a “Stay” with regard to an order from a South Carolina federal district court judge who rewrote a provision of South Carolina election law due to the impact of COVID 19.

Judge Julianna Michelle Childs, an appointee of President Obama, granted an injunction for Plaintiffs preventing the South Carolina election officials from enforcing a provision of South Carolina election law requiring a witness signature on an absentee ballot envelope.  Judge Childs set forth the relief being sought by the plaintiffs as follows:

The instant Motion seeks to enjoin four provisions related to absentee voting in South Carolina. Plaintiffs allege that the application of three of these provisions during the COVID-19 pandemic violates the United States Constitution and federal law and seek injunctive relief solely for the upcoming November 2020 General Election. The three provisions at issue include: the requirement that another individual must witness a voter’s signature on an absentee ballot envelope for the ballot to be counted (“Witness Requirement”).

After about 60 pages of legal sophistry, Judge Childs finally gets around to holding the same way every other Obama-appointed Judge has held — that COVID 19 changes everything. Election law requirements that are fine without a pandemic, are unconstitutional infringements on the right to vote under the Fourteenth Amendment with a pandemic.  But everything will be fine again when Donald Trump is no longer running for re-election:

….the court GRANTS Plaintiffs’ Motion for Injunction as to the Witness Requirement and ENJOINS Defendants, their respective agents, officers, employees, successors, and all persons acting in concert with each or any of them, from enforcing the Witness Requirement set forth in S.C. Code Ann. § 7-15-380, and from enforcing the Witness Requirement set forth in any other South Carolina statutes, on registered absentee voters only during the November 2020 General Election occurring in the State of South Carolina.

But the Supreme Court’s emergency “stay” prevents Judge Childs’ order from being enforced — and does so in terms that make it absolutely clear the state election law on requiring signatures on absentee ballot envelopes will be enforced four weeks from now.

The application for stay presented to THE CHIEF JUSTICE and by him referred to the Court is granted in part, and the district court’s September 18, 2020 order granting a preliminary injunction is stayed pending disposition of the appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and disposition of the petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is timely sought.

In no uncertain terms, that means that Judge Childs’ order will not be enforced until after the Sixth Circuit has heard and decided the appeal of her Order by election officials in South Carolina.  That won’t be happening in only four weeks — but just in case it does, the order won’t go into effect if upheld until disposition on a petition for writ of certiorari is heard and disposed of in the Supreme Court — and that is CERTAIN to not happen in the next four weeks.

This is a”shot across the bow” to the federal district court judges — Obama appointees all — who have been rewriting state election laws over the last days and weeks, using the COVID 19 pandemic to make changes that have been sought in near totality by Democrat party interest groups.

I have a very strong suspicion this one Order issued by the Court will trigger a flood of “Emergency Stay” applications from the defendants in states where federal court litigation asserting Fourteenth Amendment claims has been used to rewrite state election laws.  The Order issued by Justice Kavanaugh provides a very simple template for the Court to respond in serialized fashion and put a stop to the election-eve “jerry-rigging” of individual state election procedures in order to improve the chances of a favorable outcome from Democrat candidates — including Joe Biden.

Elections matter.

Judges matter.