The Supreme Courtroom on Monday refused a Republican request to dam an prolonged interval for counting ballots in Pennsylvania, permitting mail-in ballots acquired as much as three days after Election Day to be counted.
A 4-Four tie within the Courtroom — Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the Courtroom’s three liberal justices — means the state court docket ruling favoring Democrats is affirmed and upheld.
Whereas Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh sided with the state GOP, saying they might have granted the keep, the decrease court docket ruling favoring Democrats prevailed underneath the procedures for breaking a tie within the Courtroom. The bench is down one justice after the demise of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg final month. That seat is anticipated to be crammed by President Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett subsequent week.
The Courtroom had thought of the GOP’s request for nearly two weeks. Neither facet defined its reasoning, as is frequent with emergency requests.
The voting rule turned the topic of an intense battle between the events in Pennsylvania, an vital battleground state within the presidential election. In 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton within the state by 44,000 votes, or lower than one proportion level.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Courtroom dominated on plenty of mail-voting guidelines final month, which included the three-day mail-in voting extension in addition to permitting voters to show in ballots through dropbox and blocking a GOP-led effort to permit partisan ballot watchers to be positioned in counties the place they don’t dwell.
Pennsylvania Republicans pushed again solely on the ruling extending the deadline for mail ballots to reach. The state court docket had dominated that mail ballots should be counted so long as they’re postmarked by Election Day. Within the occasion that no postmark is seen, ballots should be counted “except a preponderance of the proof” exhibits that the ballots have been mailed after November 3.
The keep request filed by Republican leaders claimed the brand new guidelines would shake voter confidence within the electoral system and primarily amounted to extending Election Day.
“In a yr the place there’s a very actual chance that the ultimate presidential election end result hinges on Pennsylvania, the brand new guidelines imposed by the choice of the Supreme Courtroom of Pennsylvania (a physique elected in partisan elections) may destroy the American public’s confidence within the electoral system as a complete,” it learn.
The state’s Democratic legal professional normal, Josh Shapiro, mentioned the state court docket’s resolution was primarily based on a clause within the Pennsylvania structure mandating that “all facets of the electoral course of in Pennsylvania be open and unrestricted in order to not disenfranchise Pennsylvania voters.”
“The Pennsylvania Supreme Courtroom’s resolution protected that proper and introduced a lot wanted readability to the exigent circumstances surrounding a worldwide pandemic,” Shapiro wrote. “In doing so, that court docket ensured that Pennsylvanians wouldn’t be compelled to decide on between exercising their proper to vote and defending their well being.”