ACTIVE CASES/PENDING SUPREME COURT PETITIONS
Donald J. Trump for President v. Kathy Boockvar (U.S. Supreme Court: 20-845)
The Trump campaign filed the suit on Dec. 21 challenging three Pennsylvania Supreme Court rulings that “illegally changed” the mail-in ballot laws “immediately before and after the 2020 presidential election,” the legal team said. The team argued that those court decisions were issued in violation of Article II of the Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Bush v. Gore, that settled a recount dispute from Florida in 2000. The lawsuit seeks “all appropriate remedies,” which includes the vacating of electors that were committed to Joe Biden and allowing the Pennsylvania Legislature to call up their own electors.
One of the cases sought meaningful access for Republican observers to view the counting of ballots. The majority panel in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled the state’s election code does not set a minimum distance poll observers need to stand in order to watch ballot counts and meet the laws’ requirements. The two other cases are a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision issued before the election on Oct. 23 and another ruling decided on Nov. 23 that consolidates six cases. The campaign consolidated the three rulings.
Dec. 21: The Trump campaign files petition for a writ of certiorari to appeal three decisions. A motion for expedited consideration was also filed. The case was docketed on Dec. 23.
Dec. 30: Boockvar files a response opposing the request to expeditiously review case.
Dec. 31: The Trump campaign files a reply to Boockvar’s response.
Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar et al (U.S. Supreme Court: 20-542)
Pennsylvania Republicans are asking the nation’s top court to review a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that requires election officials to accept absentee ballots received up to three days after Nov. 3. Republicans are arguing that the court’s extension violates the Constitution as the decision to extend the deadline belongs to lawmakers, not the courts. The Supreme Court had previously rejected two requests by Republicans in this case: one to hold the state Supreme Court decision and the other to expedite consideration of a petition to review the merits of the case. Nevertheless, some members of the court have indicated an interest in taking up the case. A petition for a writ of certiorari is currently being considered.
Nov. 4: The Trump campaign files a motion to join the Supreme Court challenge.
Nov. 6: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issues a temporary order in the Supreme Court case requiring Pennsylvania to segregate ballots that arrived after Election Day.
Nov. 9: Multiple Republican-led states file friend-of-the-court briefs in support of the lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that extended the deadline for mail-in ballots in the state.
The case has been distributed for consideration during Jan. 8 conference, however, this does not mean the justices would immediately act on the case.
Kelly et al v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Commonwealth: 620 MD 2020; State Supreme Court: 68 MAP 2020; U.S. Supreme Court: 20A98 & 20-810)
A Republican lawmaker and several GOP congressional candidates filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania seeking to either block the certification of election results or to exclude mail ballots from the count. Alternatively, the lawsuit asks the court to order the Pennsylvania General Assembly to choose the state’s electors.
Nov 21: Plaintiffs file a petition for review in an appellate state court.
Nov. 25: A Pennsylvania judge orders state officials to not certify the results of the 2020 election until her court holds a hearing on an election contest on Nov. 27. Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and other officials appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.
Nov. 25: The hearing on Nov. 27 has been delayed due to the appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Nov. 27: Plaintiffs urge the state Supreme Court to keep in place a preliminary injunction blocking the certification of the 2020 election.
Nov. 28: Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in a per curiam decision to overturn the temporary block on the certification of the election results. The court also dismissed the case, saying that the group of Republicans had filed their challenge too late.
Dec. 1: Plaintiffs said they would request a review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Court website shows the case was docketed on Dec. 3. Plaintiffs filed an emergency request asking Supreme Court to block the state from taking further action to certify the state’s results.
Dec. 2: Plaintiffs ask Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hold their ruling that allowed officials to complete the certification of election results while they appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Dec. 3: Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected the request to hold their ruling while plaintiffs appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Dec. 3: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito ordered defendants to respond to the emergency request by 9 a.m. on Dec. 8.
Dec. 8: U.S. Supreme Court denies the application for injunctive relief (pdf). An attorney for the plaintiffs said that he will file a separate petition for a writ of certiorari with a request to expedite the case in the coming days.
Dec. 11: Plaintiffs file a petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, urging it to take up the case. The filings were docketed on Dec. 15.