US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito; screen image
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last Saturday evening reversed a lower court’s block on certifying the state’s elections issued Friday night, dismissing with prejudice a lawsuit brought by Republican candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives that sought to have the results nullified over constitutional concerns about a 2019 change in absentee ballot rules.
The lead plaintiffs in the case are Rep. Mike Kelly and Republican congressional candidate Sean Parnell.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said the suit was dismissed because the plaintiffs failed to file their case in a “timely manner” when Act 77 was passed in 2019.
On Tuesday, Gregory H. Teufel, an attorney representing Rep. Mike Kelly and Sean Parnell filed a 40-page emergency application for injunction and petition directed toward US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.
Attorney Gregory Teufel asked the Supreme Court to halt the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results and to hear their challenge to the state’s mail-in voting system.
Teufel submitted his application to Samuel Alito because Alito is the US Supreme Court justice who oversees incoming arguments from the Third Circuit, which includes the state of Pennsylvania.
Justice Alito previously called for a response from Pennsylvania to be filed by Wednesday, December 9th at 4 PM, however, on Sunday morning, the justice moved up the deadline to Tuesday, December 8 by 9 AM.
This was a critical move by Justice Alito because the original deadline failed to bring the case within the ‘safe harbor’ window to intervene.
Via Law & Crime:
Though Alito originally called for response arguments from the Commonwealth to be filed by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9th, the case docket was changed Sunday morning to move that deadline up to Tuesday, Dec. 8, by 9 a.m. The change is critical. Pennsylvania’s members of the electoral college are due to meet at noon on Dec. 14th in Harrisburg to cast their votes for president. As Law&Crime has previously reported, and as Kelly’s arguments point out, federal election law sets a so-called “safe harbor” deadline which requires controversies “concerning the appointment of all or any of the electors . . . by judicial or other methods or procedures” to be determined “at least six days before the time fixed for the meeting of the electors.” Alito’s original Dec. 9th deadline failed to take that window into account. His new deadline does.