Republicans challenging changes to vote-by-mail rules in key states finally got their case in front of the Supreme Court.
The result was unexpected.
And Clarence Thomas made a voter fraud ruling that had all hell breaking loose.
Last fall, the Supreme Court put off a challenge by state Republicans to the state Supreme Court changing the deadline for mail-in ballots to be submitted from 8PM on election night to three days after Election Day.
The Supreme Court finally considered taking up the case.
Court procedures require four justices to agree to hear a case for the court to add a case to the docket.
In a dissent that Trump supporters shared widely, Justice Clarence Thomas attacked the other six justices for refusing to take up the case as an act of cowardice.
Justice Thomas acknowledged that the number of ballots that came in three days after the election that were in dispute were not enough to change the outcome of the 2020 election.
But Justice Thomas argued that the Supreme Court needed to take this opportunity to stop judges and state officials from seizing power from state legislatures and making changes to election law on a whim and that undermined voter confidence in the election.
“[The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s] decision to rewrite the rules seems to have affected too few ballots to change the outcome of any federal election. But that may not be the case in the future. These cases provide us with an ideal opportunity to address just what authority nonlegislative officials have to set election rules, and to do so well before the next election cycle. The refusal to do so is inexplicable. . . . An election system lacks clear rules when, as here, different officials dispute who has authority to set or change those rules. This kind of dispute brews confusion because voters may not know which rules to follow. Even worse, with more than one system of rules in place, competing candidates might each declare victory under different sets of rules,” Thomas wrote.
Thomas added that in another down-ballot race, the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court meddling in election law led to mass confusion over the outcome of a race and that the justices needed to establish clear rules to prevent another disaster from occurring at a presidential level.
“We may not be so lucky in the future. Indeed, a separate decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court may have already altered an election result. A different petition argues that after election day the Pennsylvania Supreme Court nullified the legislative requirement that voters write the date on mail-in ballots. . . . According to public reports, one candidate for a state senate seat claimed victory under what she contended was the legislative rule that dates must be included on the ballots. A federal court noted that this candidate would win by 93 votes under that rule. . . . A second candidate claimed victory under the contrary rule announced by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He was seated. That is not a prescription for confidence. Changing the rules in the middle of the game is bad enough. Such rule changes by officials who may lack authority to do so is even worse,” Thomas added.
The justices made clear this case was not an attempt to overturn the election results.
Trump supporters acknowledged that reality as well.
But what the justices arguing to hear the case and Trump supporters both also agreed on was that taking up this matter would help the public confidence in the 2022 and 2024 elections.
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