Republicans to take Pennsylvania mail-in voting case to Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania GOP, discontent with a ruling that came down on Monday, are now appealing to the high court

Updated: September 22, 2020 - 11:25pm

Republicans will ask the Supreme Court to review a ruling out of Pennsylvania that extended the due date for mail-in ballots for the coming presidential election. This will be the first political test of the Supreme Court following the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last Friday evening.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled last week against the Republican Party position on the issue, which could result in the electoral votes from the Keystone State going to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on election night. In 2016, President Trump won Pennsylvania by a margin of just 44,000 votes. 

The Pennsylvania court decided to relax the deadline for mail-in voting, which was seen as a win for Democrats, who are more likely than supporters of the president to vote by mail. Under the new rule, Pennsylvania is required to accept ballots postmarked by Election Day, as long as they arrive within three days of November 3. 

"The court's judgement ... creates a serious likelihood that Pennsylvania's imminent general election will be tainted by votes that were illegally cast or mailed after Election Day," wrote the state GOP in its Monday court filing

The Pennsylvania GOP asked on Monday that the state's highest court temporarily halt the ruling from going into effect. The Republicans will now appeal to the Supreme Court, or possibly, ask SCOTUS to pause the Pennsylvania ruling themselves. 

"This could be a big first test for the post-RBG Supreme Court and where it will stand on election issues," Rick Hasen, a professor of law at UC-Irvine told The hill. 

The eight remaining SCOTUS judges often split their votes 5-3, with conservatives in the majority -- though Chief Justice John Roberts has notably flipped on some major cases. President Trump has said he will announce his pick to fill the late Ginsburg's seat this Saturday. Leadership in the GOP-controlled senate has said they will hurry the confirmation process of Trump's nominee in order to fill the seat by Election Day.