PA Trial Court Halts Certification: Finds the Election Unconstitutional

Norman

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A Pennsylvania state court Judge has issued a preliminary injunction preventing Pennsylvania from taking any further steps to perfect its certification of the election, including but not limited to appointment of electors and transmission of necessary paperwork to the Electoral College, pending further court hearings and rulings. The ruling upholds an injunction from earlier in the week, and is significant because of the findings made in the Opinion released tonight.

You can read the Opinion here.

The case has been somewhat under the radar, because it doesn’t involve claims of fraud. It appears to be a pretty straight legal argument. This is not the federal court case that has received a lot of press attention and in which the Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied relief.

The issue in this case is whether legislative expansion of absentee balloting to broad mail-in balloting violated the Pennsylvania Constitution. It’s not clear what the relief would be; the petitioners seek to preclude the Secretary of State from transmitting the certification or otherwise perfecting the electoral college selections.


Here is the Judge’s description of the claim:
In the Petition, Petitioners allege that the Act of October 31, 2019, P.L. 552, No. 77 (Act 77), which added and amended various absentee and mail-in voting provisions in the Pennsylvania Election Code (Election Code),1 is unconstitutional and void ab initio because it purportedly contravenes the requirements of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Petitioners allege that Article VII, section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution provides two exclusive mechanisms by which a qualified elector may cast his or her vote in an election: (1) by submitting his or her vote in propria persona at the polling place on election day; and (2) by submitting an absentee ballot, but only if the qualified voter satisfies the conditions precedent to meet the requirements of one of the four, limited exclusive circumstances under which absentee voting is authorized under the Pennsylvania constitution. (Petition, ¶16.) Petitioners allege that mail-in voting in the form implemented through Act 77 is an attempt by the legislature to fundamentally overhaul the Pennsylvania voting system and permit universal, no-excuse, mail-in voting absent any constitutional authority. Id., ¶17. Petitioners argue that in order to amend the Constitution, mandatory procedural requirements must be strictly followed. Specifically, pursuant to Article XI, Section 1, a proposed constitutional amendment must be approved by a majority vote of the members of both the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate in two consecutive legislative sessions, then the proposed amendment must be published for three months ahead of the next general election in two newspapers in each county, and finally it must be submitted to the qualified electors as a ballot question in the next general election and approved by a majority of those voting on the amendment. According to Petitioners, the legislature did not follow the necessary procedures for amending the Constitution before enacting Act 77 which created a new category of mail-in voting; therefore, the mail-in ballot scheme under Act 77 is unconstitutional on its face and must be struck down. Id., ¶¶27, 35-37. As relief, Petitioners seek, inter alia, a declaration and/or injunction that prohibits Respondents from certifying the November 2020 General Election results, which include mail-in ballots that are permitted on a statewide basis and are allegedlyimproper because Act 77 is unconstitutional.
The Judge found, among other things, that the plaintiffs were likely to prevail on their PA constitutional claims, and that the matter was not moot even though PA had “certified” the results, because there were more steps to be taken [emphasis added]:



Folks, mail in balloting already IS illegal in PA thank God.
 
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Norman

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It is going to the Supreme Court and since Roberts has turned out to be a limp wristed douchebag, the victory will be 5 to 4.
Total failure if they can't read the law. Should be trialed for treason.

It's also a colossal failure that they did not find this out before. How the hell does one make "mistakes" like this? Or perhaps they are features...
 

Toro

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The OP is wrong. The court did NOT find that mail-in ballots in PA are unconstitutional.

The court halted the certification process so those arguing that it is unconstitutional can have their say in court.

The judge also said that she didn’t know what the relief was, but that an election shouldn’t be tossed and handed to the legislature.
 
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Norman

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The OP is wrong. The court did NOT find that mail-in ballots in PA are unconstitutional.

The court halted the certification process so those arguing that it is unconstitutional can have their say in court.

The judge also said that she didn’t know what the relief was, but that an election shouldn’t be tossed and handed to the legislature.
I am referring to the judge who stated there is a high chance it will be found unconstitutional, and believes it is unconstitutional. This is given in the OP.

Even a five year old can understand that the case is correct, the mail in ballots are illegal as is the act that put them in place. PA does not allow such acts to be simply enacted on a whim, it would not have been even possible to enact such a law at that point, amending the process requires two years and even then it appears the law only takes effect for the next election.
 

Toro

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Clearly the PA Constitution was violated. Sad that liberal morons probably just got all those votes tossed, but what else can be done?
The only remedy as I understand is that the legislatures decides the outcome.
Wrong.

The judge said there are several possible remedies, and that isn’t one of them.

Understand what you are arguing. It’s not just the Presidential election in PA that is under question. It is the entire election in PA that is under question. Everything.

Note also that in court, the plaintiffs will be asked “You knew about this for months. Why are you filing this complaint now?” If they were concerned about the constitutionality of the election, why are they filing it three weeks after the election?

The reason, of course, is because they lost. But they won’t say that. This means the judges will be under pressure to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of people, which they will be loathe to do.

So the odds of this actually happening are low.
 

Toro

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The OP is wrong. The court did NOT find that mail-in ballots in PA are unconstitutional.

The court halted the certification process so those arguing that it is unconstitutional can have their say in court.

The judge also said that she didn’t know what the relief was, but that an election shouldn’t be tossed and handed to the legislature.
I am referring to the judge who stated there is a high chance it will be found unconstitutional, and believes it is unconstitutional. This is given in the OP.

Even a five year old can understand that the case is correct, the mail in ballots are illegal as is the act that put them in place. PA does not allow such acts to be simply enacted on a whim, it would not have been even possible to enact such a law at that point, amending the process requires two years and even then it appears the law only takes effect for the next election.
The judge did NOT say it was “high chance.” I read the brief. Nowhere does it say that.

She did say that the grounds have merit, and thus the arguments should be heard. But that’s what judges say whenever an argument isn’t baseless - like most of Trump’s filings - and has a reasonable chance in court.
 

mdk

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How queer that Act 77 was perfectly fine and constitutional when Mike Kelly and Sean Parnell won their primaries with it in effect. They had many months prior to the election to challenge the constitutionality of act, but sat on their hands until after the election.

I hope your My Pillows are waterproof b/c I suspect a deluge of tears will follow when this gets thrown out of court as well.
 

Pete7469

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Any idiot can see how mail in balloting can be abused and used to stuff ballot boxes. As stupid as the bed wetters are, they know it because they did exactly what they're accused of doing. All their pissing and moaning to the contrary, the idea that anyone with a stack of ballots can drop them in the mail and have them counted as legit reeks of corruption.


.
 
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Norman

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Clearly the PA Constitution was violated. Sad that liberal morons probably just got all those votes tossed, but what else can be done?
The only remedy as I understand is that the legislatures decides the outcome.
Wrong.

The judge said there are several possible remedies, and that isn’t one of them.

Understand what you are arguing. It’s not just the Presidential election in PA that is under question. It is the entire election in PA that is under question. Everything.

Note also that in court, the plaintiffs will be asked “You knew about this for months. Why are you filing this complaint now?” If they were concerned about the constitutionality of the election, why are they filing it three weeks after the election?

The reason, of course, is because they lost. But they won’t say that. This means the judges will be under pressure to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of people, which they will be loathe to do.

So the odds of this actually happening are low.
Absolute nonsense. Here is what the court says:

"Since this presents an issue of law which has already been thoroughly briefed by the parties, this Court can state that Petitioners have a likelihood of success on the merits of its Pennsylvania Constitutional claim."

And that's why the emergency proceedings started. Please stop with the CNN nonsense. Of course, that is what the law literally says, the ballots are illegal. As for the remedy, sure throwing all the ballots out is on the table, but that's preposterous.

Biden sure as hell did not win legally so you can stick the "Biden won" narrative to your ass.
 
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Pete7469

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How queer that Act 77 was perfectly fine and constitutional when Mike Kelly and Sean Parnell won their primaries with it in effect. They had many months prior to the election to challenge the constitutionality of act, but sat on their hands until after the election.

I hope your My Pillows are waterproof b/c I suspect a deluge of tears will follow when this gets thrown out of court as well.
I hope you're wrong, but the fact is Judge Alito (IIRC) ordered the PA election board to segregate a lot of those late entry mail in ballots and he was ignored. That might have at least 5 judges on the USSC pissed off enough to rule in Trump's favor.

Just sayin.
 

Rogue AI

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Clearly the PA Constitution was violated. Sad that liberal morons probably just got all those votes tossed, but what else can be done?
The only remedy as I understand is that the legislatures decides the outcome.
Wrong.

The judge said there are several possible remedies, and that isn’t one of them.

Understand what you are arguing. It’s not just the Presidential election in PA that is under question. It is the entire election in PA that is under question. Everything.

Note also that in court, the plaintiffs will be asked “You knew about this for months. Why are you filing this complaint now?” If they were concerned about the constitutionality of the election, why are they filing it three weeks after the election?

The reason, of course, is because they lost. But they won’t say that. This means the judges will be under pressure to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of people, which they will be loathe to do.

So the odds of this actually happening are low.
There is no constitutional time requirement. It's just as unconstitutional today as it was six months ago, election officials should have known that, it's on them.
 
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Norman

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If anyone believes Biden would have won PA without the mail in votes with almost zero ballots thrown out as democrats did not enforce signature checking, they are delusional.

Since the mail in process was unlawful, the state should be given to Trump.
 
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Norman

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Clearly the PA Constitution was violated. Sad that liberal morons probably just got all those votes tossed, but what else can be done?
The only remedy as I understand is that the legislatures decides the outcome.
Wrong.

The judge said there are several possible remedies, and that isn’t one of them.

Understand what you are arguing. It’s not just the Presidential election in PA that is under question. It is the entire election in PA that is under question. Everything.

Note also that in court, the plaintiffs will be asked “You knew about this for months. Why are you filing this complaint now?” If they were concerned about the constitutionality of the election, why are they filing it three weeks after the election?

The reason, of course, is because they lost. But they won’t say that. This means the judges will be under pressure to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of people, which they will be loathe to do.

So the odds of this actually happening are low.
There is no constitutional time requirement. It's just as unconstitutional today as it was six months ago, election officials should have known that, it's on them.
Yup, there is no requirement of motivation, either it is legal or it is not.
 

colfax_m

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Clearly the PA Constitution was violated. Sad that liberal morons probably just got all those votes tossed, but what else can be done?
Actually it was Republicans passed the law that they are attempting to declare unconstitutional.

This whole affair has shown just how delicate Democracy is, when people like yourself seem so willing to abandon it.
 

mdk

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How queer that Act 77 was perfectly fine and constitutional when Mike Kelly and Sean Parnell won their primaries with it in effect. They had many months prior to the election to challenge the constitutionality of act, but sat on their hands until after the election.

I hope your My Pillows are waterproof b/c I suspect a deluge of tears will follow when this gets thrown out of court as well.
I hope you're wrong, but the fact is Judge Alito (IIRC) ordered the PA election board to segregate a lot of those late entry mail in ballots and he was ignored. That might have at least 5 judges on the USSC pissed off enough to rule in Trump's favor.

Just sayin.
The ballots ordered separated by Judge Alito numbered in the thousands. I haven't seen anything where his order was ignored, but I am willing to look at anything you present.
 

Johnlaw

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Hey Norman, your link is not to an opinion but to a memorandum. The judge is justifying her clearly erroneous decision from a week ago. You have posted nothing new. Please stop posting false and misleading information.

At any rate, her opinion is moot as certification has already occurred.
 
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Rogue AI

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Clearly the PA Constitution was violated. Sad that liberal morons probably just got all those votes tossed, but what else can be done?
Actually it was Republicans passed the law that they are attempting to declare unconstitutional.

This whole affair has shown just how delicate Democracy is, when people like yourself seem so willing to abandon it.
It's in the PA Constitution. Not just some law. You are clueless once again.
 

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