Judge Blocks Certification of Pennsylvania Election Results…

Just hit the wires in the past few minutes…

(November 25, 2020, 12:18 PM EST) — A Pennsylvania judge has ordered the state to temporarily pause further action on certifying its 2020 election results until Friday, when her court will hold a hearing on a lawsuit seeking to declare all mail-in votes in the Keystone State unconstitutional.

Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia A. McCullough entered a preliminary order Wednesday granting an evidentiary hearing on a lawsuit brought by Republican Congress member Mike Kelly, candidates Sean Parnell and Wanda Logan and five additional voters, who say Pennsylvania’s October 2019 expansion of “no-excuse” mail-in voting violated the state constitution’s limits on who can cast an absentee ballot. Judge McCullough’s order said the state, which certified its election results for President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday, should halt any further steps toward finalizing the results or revising its vote count.

“To the extent that there remains any further action to perfect the certification of the results of the 2020 General Election … for the offices of president and vice president of the United States of America, respondents are preliminarily enjoined from doing so, pending an evidentiary hearing to be held on Friday, November 27, 2020,” the judge’s order said. “Inasmuch as respondents, based on their press release and briefs, have not undertaken certification of any of the other results of the election, respondents are preliminarily enjoined from certifying the remaining results of the election, pending the evidentiary hearing.”

Attorneys for the state and the Republican-majority legislature that had passed the expanded voting bill argued in briefs that the challengers’ requested relief of halting certification was too late, but the challengers filed a supplemental application for emergency relief late Tuesday night that laid out other steps in formalizing the election that the court could stop, up to and including an injunction stopping electors from meeting in Harrisburg in December.

“Should it be absolutely necessary, in order for this court to be empowered to provide adequate relief, petitioners may seek for leave from this court to join the slate of presidential and vice presidential electors as additional respondents in this action, and move to enjoin them from taking certain action,’ the petition said. “Because the electors, by law, must perform their duties at the ‘seat of government of this Commonwealth,’ this court may also enjoin respondents from permitting the electors to assemble at such location.”

The lawsuit seeks to declare the expansion of mail-in voting unconstitutional and to void those ballots cast in the 2020 election, or to have the state’s legislature choose who won Pennsylvania.

The plaintiffs alleged that Pennsylvania’s vote-by-mail stature—Act 77—is in violation of the state’s constitution.

“Act 77 is the most expansive and fundamental change to the Pennsylvania voting code, implemented illegally, to date,” the lawsuit, filed in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, states.

“As with prior historical attempts to illegally expand mail-in voting by statute, which have been struck down going as far back as the Military Absentee Ballot Act of 1839, Act 77 is another illegal attempt to override the limitations on absentee voting prescribed in the Pennsylvania Constitution, without first following the necessary procedure to amend the constitution to allow for the expansion.”

The plaintiffs include Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Republican congressional candidate Sean Parnell, and Pennsylvania House of Representatives candidate Wanda Logan.

LAW 360…


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