The chances of changing the outcome of the Pennsylvania election just got a lot harder. A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign claiming the way mail-in ballots were treated in Pennsylvania resulted in the disenfranchisement of actual voters. The week before the election, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court amended state election law to allow ballots received three days after Election Day to be counted and ballots missing a postmark were ordered to be presumed to have been mailed on time.
This loss was sort of anticipated by our own Shipwreckedcrew (see Oral Argument on Motions to Dismiss in Pennsylvania Case Was an Opportunity Lost — Strategic Vision Was Needed), but there is no way of sugar-coating the opinion. It is a massive loss for the Trump campaign.
As expected, Judge Brann has dismissed the Trump campaign’s broad-based challenge to Pennsylvania’s election results, including its effort to throw out *all* mail-in ballots. And he has a few choice words for Trump’s lawyers along the way.
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) November 21, 2020
The suit was dismissed “with prejudice,” which means they cannot amend the suit to try to fix the major issues and file it again. They can, however, appeal this to the Third Circuit and from there to the Supreme Court.
.The door on this has not been closed but the opinion by the trial judge is not going to help the odds of a favorable appeal.