The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has tossed out an election lawsuit to delegitimize mail-in ballots, but Republican congressional candidate Sean Parnell said his team will on Sunday ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, which questions the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s Act 77.
Gov. Tom Wolf signed Act 77 into law in October 2019, administering no-excuse mail-in voting. Parnell told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday that the state Supreme Court dismissing the case was a “blatant political act.”
“What I’m trying to do is bring a sense of clarity to an election where 50% of the people in the state of Pennsylvania have no clarity,” he said. “And the fact is because they dismissed my case with prejudice, they’re saying that anybody else in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania can challenge the unconstitutionality of Act 77 but me.”
“We had hope that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, would take their oath to the Constitution seriously and not put party before their oath to the Constitution,” he went on. “But clearly, I think this is a blatant political act on their part.”
Pennsylvania’s highest court on Saturday night threw out a lower court’s order preventing the state from certifying dozens of contests on its Nov. 3 election ballot.
The state Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, said the underlying lawsuit was filed months after the expiration of a time limit in Pennsylvania’s expansive year-old mail-in voting law allowing for challenges to it.
Justices also remarked on the lawsuit’s staggering demand that an entire election be overturned retroactively.
“They have failed to allege that even a single mail-in ballot was fraudulently cast or counted,” Justice David Wecht wrote in a concurring opinion.
Parnell argued that Act 77 was immediately unlawful since its enactment, saying it required a constitutional amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution first. That would have required a back-to-back vote in the General Assembly, he said, and a spot on Pennsylvania ballots as a referendum for people to vote on.
“The Pennsylvania General Assembly, along with our governor, knew that a constitutional amendment was required when they initially passed the law… But I believe they stopped it because that process is onerous and difficult,” he said. “But it’s onerous and difficult for a reason, because sweeping electoral change should be difficult.”
The congressional candidate accused the Pennsylvania Supreme Court of adopting Democratic Gov. Wolf’s political stance. He also stressed that the point of this lawsuit is not to decipher whether mail-in balloting is right or wrong or to claim fraud.
Parnell said his team will be filing an emergency motion Sunday in an attempt to get the case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court since, he said, there are “federal questions nested within.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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