Wisconsin and Pennsylvania State Supreme Courts Set to Rule on 2020 Voting Laws 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 02: People visit a voting site at a YMCA on Election Day, November 02, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Over 30,000 New Yorkers have already cast their ballots in early voting for a series of races including the race for …
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The Supreme Courts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania will hear cases involving voting laws the states implemented ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Conservative activists earned lower court victories in both states, leading their supreme courts to take up the cases. A lower state court determined its mail-in voting law was unconstitutional in Pennsylvania. In Wisconsin, a state trial court held that it was illegal to use drop boxes for returning absentee ballots.

Republicans challenged voting laws in each state judiciary because their Democrat governors are unlikely to sign off on any changes to current voting laws. “This is the only way it could play out, because [Gov. Tom Wolf] would never” repeal mail voting, said Adam Bonin, a Pennsylvania election attorney.

Pennsylvania’s Act 77, passed in 2019, allowed statewide no-excuse mail balloting. Conservative attorneys in Pennsylvania argued that “provisions in the state constitution require people to vote in person except under a very specific set of enumerated circumstances.”

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) and Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) appealed the lower court ruling that determined the law was unconstitutional. Former President Donald Trump cheered the lower court’s ruling, asking, “If widespread mail-in balloting is unconstitutional in Pennsylvania now, how could mail-in balloting have been constitutional in the RIGGED 2020 Presidential Election then?”

However, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has a 5-2 liberal majority, so the court’s chances to uphold the lower court’s ruling are slim. “We’re simply saying that the Pennsylvania Constitution requires in-person voting except under limited, specified circumstances,” said Greg Teufel, an attorney for the Republican lawmakers challenging Act 77.

If Pennsylvania’s majority liberal supreme court rules against the conservatives, they are willing to take the case to the United States Supreme Court. “We are anticipating — if we do lose — that we would request the [U.S.] Supreme Court to hear the case. That’ll be their discretion whether to accept this case or not, but we’re hopeful,” Republican state Rep. Timothy Bonner told Politico.

In Wisconsin, conservatives successfully challenged the state’s absentee dropbox law. A state trial court ordered drop boxes banned ahead of February’s local primary, but a state appeals court stayed the order. Wisconsin’s supreme court agreed to hear the case and keep the appeal court’s stay in place while the case is pending.

Conservatives might have more chance in Wisconsin’s highest court, as its makeup is different from Pennsylvania’s. Wisconsin’s supreme court is evenly split with three conservatives and three liberals, one moderate swing justice. The Wisconsin elections commission failed to repeal their dropbox guidelines, so voters may use them until the state supreme court decides its fate.


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