Sep 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pennsylvania GOP asks Supreme Court to halt mail-in ballot extension


Applications for mail-in ballots in Reading, Pennsylvania. Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Republicans in Pennsylvania on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt a major state court ruling that extended the deadlines for mail-in ballots to several days after the election, The Morning Call reports.

Why it matters: It's the first election-related test for the Supreme Court since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and could decide the fate of thousands of ballots in a crucial swing state that President Trump won in 2016. What the court decides could signal how it would deal with similar election-related litigation in other states.

The state of play: A Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision moved the deadline for absentee ballots to be counted from 8 p.m. on Election Day to 5 p.m. the following Friday, Nov. 6. The U.S. Supreme Court granting a stay would result in a return to the original deadline.

What they're saying: “In the middle of an ongoing election, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has altered the rules of the election and extended the 2020 General Election beyond the 'Time' established by the state legislature,” wrote the state's Republican Senate leadership, which filed the motion.

  • “In doing so, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has violated federal law and the federal Constitution.”

Worth noting: The court also allowed counties to use drop boxes for people to personally turn in their ballots — a method President Trump has frequently attacked.

Go deeper: How the Supreme Court could decide the election

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