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Justice Alito Moves Up Deadline for PA to Respond to Congressman's Lawsuit Over Mail-in Ballots

A worker gathers ballots from security cages before they are checked at a Board of Elections facility (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A worker gathers ballots from security cages before they are checked at a Board of Elections facility (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has told Pennsylvania officials to respond to Rep. Mike Kelly's election challenge a day earlier than previously scheduled. That day, Dec. 8 is what's known as the safe harbor deadline. That deadline prevents Congress from challenging any electors after that point.

Alito ordered state officials to respond to Kelly's lawsuit by 9:00 am Tuesday, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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The American Center for Law and Justice says, "This is major action in defense of the Constitution, with massive potential impacts on the integrity of the election." 

Fox News reported that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told them if the Supreme Court takes this case, that he will argue the case. 

Pennsylvania Republicans asked Alito last week to intervene and put a stop to Democratic officials' efforts to certify the Commonwealth's election results or name electors for Joe Biden. 

Kelly, Republican congressional candidate Sean Parnell and four others filed an Emergency Application for a Writ of Injunction from Alito since he handles emergency appeals from Pennsylvania. 

Alito does have the authority under Supreme Court rules to issue an emergency injunction, and then refer the case to the entire Supreme Court. He has been outspoken about the election process in Pennsylvania, including the actions of the state's Supreme Court before and after the election. 

The Pennsylvania Republicans argue that the commonwealth's expansive vote-by-mail law is unconstitutional, saying it required a constitutional amendment. Pennsylvania's Supreme Court threw out their case, so they're hoping for a federal review of their argument. 

Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf's lawyers are trying to stop the GOP lawsuit, arguing it's "highly unlikely" the Supreme Court will agree that the US Constitution supports the Republican claims.

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