Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly has filed a longshot petition asking the Supreme Court to nullify the certification of Pennsylvania election results.
Kelly is challenging the Commonwealth’s “no-excuse” absentee ballot scheme that was passed in October 2019.
It is the latest petition from Republicans still seeking to challenge the election and it faces steep odds at the Supreme Court, particularly because the dispute turns on issues of state law. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed the challenge last weekend holding that Kelly and others failed to file their challenge in a timely manner.
“It is beyond cavil that petitioners failed to act with due diligence” in presenting the case, the court held noting that they filed the suit more than one year after the enactment of the law at issue.
The new emergency petition will be filed with Justice Samuel Alito who has jurisdiction over the Pennsylvania courts. He will likely refer it to the whole court. It has not yet officially been received by the clerk’s office.
Election law expert Rick Hasen of the University of California Irvine notes that Kelly is seeking an order to nullify the effect of the certification of elections but that “it is not clear that this kind of remedy is even available.”
“I do not expect this case to go anywhere at the Supreme Court,” Hasen said in a blog post.
Lawyers for Kelly argue that Pennsylvania’s General Assembly “exceeded its powers by unconstitutionally allowing no-excuse absentee voting, including for federal offices, in the Election.”
They argue that the legislature’s move violated both the Pennsylvania Constitution and the US Constitution. “Because the Pennsylvania Constitution has not been amended,” they argued, “the legislative efforts to authorize no-excuse mail-in voting are fatally defective and inherently unconstitutional.”