Chief Justice John Roberts sided with liberals on the Supreme Court, creating a deadlock and denying a request by the Pennsylvania GOP to count ballots only if they’ve been received by Election Day.
The 4-4 tie means the decision from the lower court remains in place.
Last month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that mail-in ballots can be counted up to three days after the election, even if they lack a legible postmark.
The court stated that ballots counted during the extension period must be postmarked by the close of polls on Election Day.
The AP, however, noted that “ballots can be counted if they lack a postmark, a legible postmark or some proof of mailing,” with the only disqualifying feature being if a “preponderance of the evidence” shows it was mailed after Election Day.
Even CNN highlighted Roberts’ conservative betrayal stating, “Once again Roberts has moved left to side with his liberal colleagues in an area where he has a very conservative record.”
— CNN Early Start (@EarlyStart) October 20, 2020
John Roberts Allows Ballots to Be Counted Well After Election Day
The phrase ‘John Roberts has sided with the liberal wing of the Supreme Court’ is becoming a foregone conclusion at this point.
The victory for Democrats here is nearly immeasurable.
Democrat nominee Joe Biden and President Trump have both been competing for votes in Pennsylvania, a crucial state for both challenger and incumbent.
Supreme Court splits 4-4, leaves Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in place allowing more time for mail-in voting. Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh would have granted GOP request to block the Pennsylvania court’s ruling. pic.twitter.com/MFiQ9EKzSG
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) October 19, 2020
No Democrat has won the presidency without capturing Pennsylvania since Harry Truman in 1948.
Trump won the Keystone State over Hillary Clinton in 2016 by just over 40,000 votes.
Three days worth of mail-in ballots discovered in drop boxes and satellite offices after the election could potentially cast doubt on the results.
Republican National Committee national press secretary Mandi Merritt issued a statement on the deadlock.
“We are disappointed that the court declined to confront the important issues raised in our motion,” she said. “The Constitution delegates these issues to elected state legislatures rather than judges for a reason.”
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) October 19, 2020
Amy Coney Barrett Looms Large
Conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin blasted Roberts for his pattern of betrayal.
“John Roberts blows it again,” he tweeted. “What a truly horrible and politically-motivated justice. Disaster.”
CNN analyst Steve Vladeck was quick to observe how the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court would be critical to blunting Roberts’ liberal rulings.
Big win for voting rights: Supreme Court says Pennsylvania ballots will count if received by Friday after Election Day. Roberts joins liberals.
Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh dissented. This decision could have easily gone the other way if Amy Coney Barrett on court
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) October 19, 2020
“Once again, Chief Justice Roberts played the same role he’s played over the last year – appearing to put what he views as the court’s institutional interests ahead of what he otherwise might’ve preferred,” Vladeck pointed out.
“But with the confirmation of Judge Barrett seemingly a fait accompli, this may be one of the last times that such a move by him is decisive.”
And that would be a good thing for the country.
Read more at the Political Insider