‘We need to make it clear’

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas issued a dissenting opinion regarding the superior court’s decision not to take a case challenging the results of the November 3 election in Pennsylvania.

The court announced Monday that it will not accept lawsuits challenging a Pennsylvania state court decision that relaxed ballot integrity measures, including a measure to extend the deadline for receiving ballots during the November election by three days. because of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). ) virus. Former President Donald Trump and the Pennsylvania Republican Party urged the court to review the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling.

« This is not a recipe for confidence, » Thomas wrote Monday, adding that « changing the rules in the middle of the game is bad enough. » Thomas, considered by many to be the most conservative judge, said the court should have granted a review.

“That decision to rewrite the rules appears to have affected very few ballots to change the outcome of any federal election. But that may not be the case in the future, ”wrote Thomas (pdf). “These cases provide us with an ideal opportunity to address what authority non-legislative officials have to set electoral rules and to do so well in advance of the next election cycle. The refusal to do so is inexplicable.

Aside from Thomas, Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch also disagreed.

“If state officials have the authority they have claimed, we must make that clear. Otherwise, we must end this practice now before the consequences become catastrophic, ”wrote Thomas, appointed by former President George HW Bush.

Thomas also appeared to make a reference to allegations of fraud and wrongdoing during the Nov.3 election.

« We are fortunate that many of the cases that we have seen are supposedly only incorrect rule changes, not fraud, » Thomas wrote. But that observation provides only small consolation. An election free of strong evidence of systemic fraud alone is not sufficient for electoral confidence. Ensuring that fraud will not go unnoticed is also important.

On Monday, the Supreme Court also refused to review an offer from Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) And others who asked the court to repeal a policy expanding mail ballots.

A lawyer for Kelly, Greg Teufel, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last week that “it is important that the court is interested in whether Pennsylvania’s electoral laws are administered constitutionally or not, and in accordance with the Pennsylvania constitution and the federal constitution. « Teufel noted that before the court’s decision on Monday, there was a slim chance that the judges would make it.

Trump still has a request on the Supreme Court docket regarding his challenge to the changes the Wisconsin Elections Commission ordered last year.