Supreme Court rejects second GOP effort to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.
The state of play: The state's deadline had been extended from 3 days to 9 days post-Election Day.
The big picture: These are the latest in a series of decisions over ballot deadlines in states across the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- The rulings come shortly after the court rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend that state’s deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days post-Election Day.
Conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented in each of the decisions in a 5-3 vote.
- As in the ruling to deny a bid from Pennsylvania Republicans to expedite their request to shorten the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots, newly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in either decisions.
- This was "because of the need for a prompt resolution and because she has not had time to fully review the parties’ filings," the court said.
Background: A federal appeals court ruled last Wednesday that North Carolina could accept absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 3, Election Day, until Nov. 12 because of the pandemic.
What to watch: A similar case regarding Minnesota’s extended mail-in ballot deadline is making its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- The court has been siding with lower state courts’ decisions thus far, which would keep the extended deadline in place in Minnesota as well.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.