U.S. District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter ruled on Tuesday that county boards of election may no longer reject mail ballots that lack accurate, handwritten dates on their return envelopes.
Judge Paradise Baxter was appointed by Donald J. Trump. But there is more to this story… She was first nominated by Barack Obama!
George Behizy added, “This is yet another example of the Federal government telling a state how to run its elections. The power to oversee elections clearly belongs to state legislatures, not Federal courts, “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof” Article 1 Section 4 Clause 1.”
BREAKING: A Federal Judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that undated mail in ballots can be counted in the 2024 election despite a state law that clearly prohibits it. This means mail in ballots with no dates or incorrect dates will be counted
This is yet another example of the… pic.twitter.com/Ij8DO8y5mX
— George (@BehizyTweets) November 22, 2023
It should be noted that Judge Baxter was first appointed by Obama. President Trump renominated her in a deal with Democrats.
On July 30, 2015, President Barack Obama nominated Baxter to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, to the seat vacated by Sean J. McLaughlin, who resigned on August 16, 2013. She received a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 9, 2015 and her nomination generated no controversy. On January 28, 2016, her nomination was reported out of committee by voice vote. Her nomination expired on January 3, 2017, with the end of the 114th Congress.
On December 20, 2017, her renomination by President Donald Trump was announced and sent to the Senate as part of a bipartisan package of nominees which included Marilyn Horan and Chad Kenney. She was renominated to the same seat. On February 15, 2018, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported her nomination by voice vote. On August 28, 2018, her nomination was confirmed by voice vote. She received her judicial commission on September 10, 2018.
The AP reported:
Mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania without accurate handwritten dates on their exterior envelopes must still be counted if they are received in time, a judge ruled Tuesday, concluding that rejecting such ballots violates federal civil rights law.
The decision has implications for the 2024 presidential election in a key battleground state where Democrats have been far more likely to vote by mail than Republicans.
In the latest lawsuit filed over a 2019 state voting law, U.S. District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter ruled that county boards of election may no longer reject mail ballots that lack accurate, handwritten dates on their return envelopes. Baxter said the date — which is required by state law — is irrelevant in helping elections officials decide whether the ballot was received in time or whether the voter is qualified to cast a ballot.
The GOP has repeatedly fought in court to get such ballots thrown out, part of a campaign to invalidate mail-in ballots and mail-in voting in Pennsylvania after then-President Donald Trump baselessly claimed in 2020 that mail balloting was rife with fraud.