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Supreme Court rejects challenge to Pennsylvania election results

Supreme Court rejects challenge to Pennsylvania election results
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly's challenge to Pennsylvania's election results, which sought to halt certification of the vote over a law that allowed widespread mail-in voting, on Tuesday. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a challenge by a Republican congressman seeking to halt the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's election win in Pennsylvania.

In a brief, two-line order, the Supreme Court dismissed the case brought by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., arguing that Pennsylvania's decision to enact a law enabling widespread mail-in voting for the first time earlier this year was passed unconstitutionally.

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The order was delivered without comment and there were no dissents.

Pennsylvania certified its election results showing Biden defeated President Donald Trump by a margin of 80,555 votes in late November.

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Tuesday's Supreme Court ruling came after Pennsylvania's Supreme Court said Kelly and his allies were too late in filing a lawsuit seeking to invalidate all votes cast by mail or direct the majority-Republican legislature to choose a slate of presidential electors. The plaintiffs sought to challenge a year-old law that established new absentee voting procedures and came weeks after Pennsylvanians voted.

In the case, Kelly and fellow challengers argued that state officials violated the Pennsylvania Constitution by enacting Act 77, which permitted no-excuse mail-in voting, and sought an emergency injunction to block the completion of the certification of Pennsylvania's election results, declaring that the election was "conducted illegally."

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"Pennsylvania's General Assembly exceeded its powers by unconstitutionally allowing no-excuse absentee voting, including for federal offices, in the election," they wrote.

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On Monday, the state's Republican Party, 32 Republican state legislators and 23 Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting the case.

Attorneys for the state responded on Tuesday, describing the case as "one of the most dramatic, disruptive invocations of judicial power in the history of the Republic."

"After waiting over a year to challenge Act 77, and engaging in procedural gamesmanship along the way, they come to this court with unclean hands and ask to disenfranchise an entire state," they said. "They make that request without any acknowledgment of the staggering upheaval, turmoil and acrimony it would unleash ... Their suit is nothing less than an affront to constitutional democracy."

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Trump's campaign has also engaged in a separate legal battle to block or rescind certification of the election results that have been denied in lower federal courts.

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