Ted Cruz Presses Supreme Court to Hear Emergency Appeal on Pennsylvania Election Challenge

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, arrives and speaks to the media before for a Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting, Thursday morning, Oct. 22, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington, where the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, will have a committee vote. A vote by the full Senate could come next …
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to hear an emergency appeal challenging the election results in Pennsylvania, contending that hearing the appeal “would be an important step in helping rebuild confidence in the integrity of our democratic system.”

“Today, an emergency appeal was filed in the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the election results in Pennsylvania. This appeal raises serious legal issues, and I believe the Court should hear the case on an expedited basis,” Cruz said in a Tuesday statement.

The lawsuit at the center of controversy, led by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Republican congressional candidate Sean Parnell, questions the constitutionality of universal mail-in voting in the state, specifically Pennsylvania’s Act 77.

“While we believe that Act 77 is certainly a state issue, we so believe that there are very important federal questions nested within it,” Parnell told KDKA.

“So what we’re doing is we’re looking to appeal to the Supreme Court on those federal questions,” he added.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit last week, “saying the underlying lawsuit was filed months after the law allowed for challenges to Pennsylvania’s expansive year-old mail-in voting law,” as KDKA reported.

However, Cruz believes the Supreme Court should hear the case.

“The Pennsylvania Constitution requires in-person voting, except in narrow and defined circumstances. Late last year, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a law that purported to allow universal mail-in voting, notwithstanding the Pennsylvania Constitution’s express prohibition,” Cruz said in a statement.

“This appeal argues that Pennsylvania cannot change the rules in the middle of the game. If Pennsylvania wants to change how voting occurs, the state must follow the law to do so,” he continued, adding that the “illegality was compounded by a partisan Democrat Supreme Court in Pennsylvania, which has issued multiple decisions that reflect their political and ideological biases.”

Cruz noted that Justices Alito, Thomas, and Gorsuch, recently indicated that “there is a strong likelihood that the State Supreme Court decision violates the Federal Constitution.”

His statement continued:

In the current appeal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed the claim based on a legal doctrine called ‘laches,’ which essentially means the plaintiffs waited too long to bring the challenge. But, the plaintiffs reasonably argue that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has not applied that doctrine consistently and so they cannot selectively enforce it now.

Even more persuasively, the plaintiffs point out that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has also held that plaintiffs don’t have standing to challenge an election law until after the election, meaning that the court effectively put them in a Catch-22: before the election, they lacked standing; after the election, they’ve delayed too long. The result of the court’s gamesmanship is that a facially unconstitutional election law can never be judicially challenged.

“Ordinarily, the U.S. Supreme Court would stay out of election disputes, especially concerning state law. But these are not ordinary times.

Cruz also cited a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, indicating that 39 percent of Americans believe that “the election was rigged.”

“That is not healthy for our democracy. The bitter division and acrimony we see across the nation needs resolution,” he said, expressing the belief that the responsibility now falls on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Hearing this case-now, on an emergency expedited basis-would be an important step in helping rebuild confidence in the integrity of our democratic system,” the Texas senator concluded.

Pennsylvania certified its election results for Joe Biden (D) last month.


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