Trump campaign asks Supreme Court to intervene in mail-in ballots case

Written by on November 4, 2020

Trump campaign asks Supreme Court to intervene in mail-in ballots case

By Krishnadev Calamur / NPR

November 4, 2020

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FILE – This Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 file photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court Building Washington. The court is setting an election-season review of racial preference in college admissions, agreeing Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 to consider new limits on the contentious issue of affirmative action programs. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Trump campaign says it is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in a case over counting ballots in Pennsylvania that were postmarked by Nov. 3, Election Day, but received later.

“As the President has rightly said, the Supreme Court must resolve this crucial contested legal question, so President Trump’s Campaign is moving to intervene in the existing Supreme Court litigation over the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s unlawful extension of the mail-in ballot receipt deadline,” Justin Clark, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, said in a statement. “The law is on President Trump’s side: as the Eighth Circuit just said, to change the ballot receipt deadline is in fact a change of the time, place, and manner of the election — and only a state legislature or the United States Congress can do that under the Constitution.”

Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, remains a pivotal state for both the Trump and Biden campaigns in their quest for the White House. With 85% of the vote counted, according to The Associated Press, Trump was leading with 52.4% of the vote to Joe Biden’s 46.5%. Democrats say they believe that much of the remaining vote will break in Biden’s favor.

The Trump campaign’s move comes weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that election officials in Pennsylvania can count absentee ballots received as late as the Friday after Election Day so long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3.

Pennsylvania Republicans had sought to block the counting of late-arriving ballots, which the state’s Supreme Court had approved last month. Republicans argued that it is up to the state’s legislature — not the court — to set rules for how elections are conducted. They also said the court’s ruling could allow ballots cast after Election Day to be counted. The court declined to expedite the case so close to the election but left room to revisit it.

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