Supreme Court rejects lingering 2020 election challenge case

In this May 3, 2020 photo, clouds roll over the Supreme Court at dusk on Capitol Hill in Washington. Photo: AP/Patrick Semansky/File. In this May 3, 2020 photo, clouds roll over the Supreme Court at dusk on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Associated Press
Created: April 19, 2021 09:39 AM

The Supreme Court on Monday said it will not hear a case out of Pennsylvania related to the 2020 election, a case that had lingered while similar election challenges had already been rejected by the justices.

The high court directed a lower court to dismiss the case as moot.

The justices had in February, after President Joe Biden's inauguration, rejected a handful of cases related to the 2020 election. In the case the court rejected Monday, however, the court had called for additional briefing that was not complete until the end of March.

The case involved a federal court challenge to a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision requiring election officials to receive and count mailed-in ballots that arrived up to three days after the election. More broadly, however, the case concerned whether state lawmakers or state courts get the last word about the manner in which federal elections are carried out.

The Democratic National Committee was among those that argued the case should be rejected as moot because the 2020 election is over. Those that brought the case said the justices should hear it because the issues involved are important and recurring.

The court had previously rejected other cases that had involved the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision to extend the deadline for mail-in ballots. Three of the court's conservative justices dissented, saying they would have taken up the cases.

The genesis of the cases were changes Pennsylvania lawmakers made to the state’s election laws in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the changes, lawmakers left in place a Nov. 3 deadline to receive absentee ballots. Democrats sued, and Pennsylvania’s highest court cited the ongoing pandemic and United States Postal Service delays in extending the deadline for mailed-in ballots to be received.

Ultimately fewer than 10,000 ballots were received during those three days. That small number of ballots would not have altered the outcome of the presidential election in the state, which former President Donald Trump lost by some 80,000 votes.


(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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