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Rep. Kelly’s Pennsylvania Request for SCOTUS Injunction Denied

Dec. 8, 2020 (EIRNS)—On Tuesday afternoon, the Supreme Court tersely denied the call for injunctive relief requested by Congressman Mike Kelly: “The application for injunctive relief presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied.” This may not necessarily mean that certiorari will not be granted, or that the case will go entirely unheard, but any meaningful action for the 2021 inauguration would have to be taken soon.

On Tuesday morning, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania responded to Kelly’s filing, which uses legal problems with Pennsylvania’s 2019 Act 77 to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to issue injunctions regarding the state’s election results.

The introduction to Pennsylvania’s response opened: “Petitioners ask this Court to undertake one of the most dramatic, disruptive invocations of judicial power in the history of the Republic. No court has ever issued an order nullifying a governor’s certification of presidential election results. And for good reason: ‘Once the door is opened to judicial invalidation of presidential election results, it will be awfully hard to close that door again.... The loss of public trust in our constitutional order resulting from the exercise of this kind of judicial power would be incalculable.’ ”

And it closes with: “Their suit is nothing less than an affront to constitutional democracy. It should meet a swift and decisive end.”

On the claim that Act 77, which was passed in late 2019 and greatly expanded mail-in voting beyond the absentee voting that already existed, violates the Pennsylvania Constitution, the response notes that while the state Constitution does define a class of people allowed to cast absentee ballots, it does not preclude additional types of people from applying for “mail-in” ballots, which are not the same as absentee ballots. In other words, they say that the constitution requires that people fitting certain categories be allowed to cast absentee votes, but does not limit the practice of not-in-person voting to those classes of people. They write: “Thus, the Pennsylvania Constitution provides that the General Assembly must allow voters in the enumerated four categories to cast absentee ballots, but may also go further.”

Other aspects of Pennsylvania’s response include the fact that Act 77 includes a section specifying that any judicial challenges to it must be made within 180 days of its being passed, and to what the State calls the inequitable nature of the remedy sought (as it would invalidate millions of votes).

Direct demonstrations of fraud, such as the incriminating Georgia video of ballots retrieved from under a table after election observers had been told to leave, directly demonstrate the outrageous conduct of the election in a stronger way than does a legal challenge to a law passed by bipartisan support.

Here’s what the Pennsylvania Constitution has to say: Article VII, § 14. Absentee voting

(a) The Legislature shall, by general law, provide a manner in which, and the time and place at which, qualified electors who may, on the occurrence of any election, be absent from the municipality of their residence, because their duties, occupation or business require them to be elsewhere or who, on the occurrence of any election, are unable to attend at their proper polling places because of illness or physical disability or who will not attend a polling place because of the observance of a religious holiday or who cannot vote because of election day duties, in the case of a county employee, may vote, and for the return and canvass of their votes in the election district in which they respectively reside.

The Supreme Court webpage on Mike Kelly, United States Congressman, et al., Applicants v. Pennsylvania, et al. provides documentation related to the case.

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