By Janita Kan
The Supreme Court on Wednesday docketed an appeal filed by President Donald Trump’s campaign that seeks to reverse cases by a state court but did not immediately act on the campaign’s request to expedite the case.
Instead, the top court’s docket shows a Jan. 22, 2021. deadline—two days after the presidential inauguration day—for when the state is required to respond to the request for appeal.
The campaign filed the suit on Monday challenging three Pennsylvania Supreme Court rulings that “illegally changed” the mail-in ballot laws “immediately before and after the 2020 presidential election,” the legal team said.
The team argued that those court decisions were issued in violation of Article II of the Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Bush v. Gore, that settled a recount dispute from Florida in 2000.
Along with the petition for a writ of certiorari, the legal team filed a request to the court to expedite the case. That request asked the nation’s top court to order Pennsylvania officials to respond by noon on Wednesday—a deadline that has now passed.
“If this matter is not timely resolved, not only Petitioner, but the Nation as a whole may suffer injury from the resulting confusion,” the campaign wrote (pdf).
“Indeed, the intense national and worldwide attention on the 2020 Presidential election only foreshadows the disruption that may well follow if the uncertainty and unfairness shrouding this election are allowed to persist. The importance of a prompt resolution of the federal constitutional questions presented by this case cannot be overstated,” they added.
John Eastman, the president’s attorney in this case, told The Epoch Times in an email that the Jan. 22 date is an automatic entry by the clerk’s office, as every petition for certiorari is given a 30-day response deadline after the request is docketed.
“So don’t read anything into that,” Eastman said. “The Court is fully aware of our Motion for Expedited Consideration, and if it grants our motion, new dates will be provided via court order.”
The campaign’s lawsuit seeks “all appropriate remedies,” which includes the vacating of electors that were committed to Joe Biden and allowing the Pennsylvania Legislature to call up their own electors. Pennsylvania was one of the seven states where the Republican Party had its own electors cast votes for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, in a bid to preserve legal challenges in the state.
The legal team argued that the state rulings “eviscerated” the Pennsylvania Legislature’s safeguards against potential voter fraud stemming from mail-in ballots. The rulings prohibited the verification of signatures of absentee and mail-in ballots declarations, prevented campaigns from gaining meaningful access to observe the counting of absentee and mail-in ballots; and relaxed the statutory requirements that voters properly sign, address, and date mail-in ballots, the lawsuit alleged.
The lawsuit represents the campaign’s first independent U.S. Supreme Court filing seeking to challenge the 2020 election results, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani said in a statement earlier this week.
Several 2020 election-related appeals and challenges have been filed in the top court but so far, none of the cases have been accepted. The Supreme Court refused to hear a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, ruling that the Lone Star State failed to show it had the legal standing—or right—to sue.
Meanwhile, the court also rejected to immediately intervene in another lawsuit filed by Pennsylvania Republicans alleging that its mail-in ballot law contravened the state’s constitution. The court denied the Republican’s request for immediate injunctive relief to block Pennsylvania from taking further steps to certify the 2020 election results.
Lawyers for state lawmaker Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) subsequently filed a petition for a writ of certiorari earlier this month, which argues that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was wrong when it dismissed their case because the justices thought the plaintiffs filed their case with unreasonable delay.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.
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