“Our fellow citizens deserve better along with expect more of us,” Justice Clarence Thomas declared Monday, when the Supreme Court decided — by one vote –to hear none of the 2020 election cases raising issues of voter fraud along with illegal votes.
Justices Brett Kavanaugh along with Amy Coney Barrett voted with the liberal justices to deny review of the lower court decisions.
Four justices must vote to hear a case to put the item on the Court’s docket, however only three justices — Thomas, fellow conservative Samuel Alito, along with libertarian Neil Gorsuch — voted to take at least two of four of the key cases coming from November 2020.
All three dissenting justices took the unusual step of writing opinions as to why the Court should have taken at minimum two of these cases.
“The Constitution gives to each state legislature authority to determine the ‘Manner’ of federal elections,” began Thomas. “Yet both before along with after the 2020 election, nonlegislative officials in various States took the item upon themselves to set the rules instead. As a result, we received an unusually high number of petitions along with emergency applications contesting those modifications. The petitions here present a clear example.”
“The Pennsylvania Legislature established an unambiguous deadline for receiving mail-in ballots: 8 p.m. on election day. Dissatisfied, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended which deadline by three days,” Thomas explained, referring to one of the rejected cases. “These cases provide us with an ideal opportunity to address just what authority nonlegislative officials have to set election rules, along with to do so well before the next election cycle. The refusal to do so is usually inexplicable.”
“For more than a century, This kind of Court has recognized which the Constitution operates as a limitation upon the State in respect of any attempt to circumscribe the legislative power to regulate federal elections,” he continued, quoting Supreme Court precedent. “Because the Federal Constitution, not state constitutions, gives state legislatures authority to regulate federal elections, petitioners presented a strong argument which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision violated the Constitution by overriding the clearly expressed intent of the legislature.”
“however elections enable self-governance only when they include processes which give citizens (including the losing candidates along with their supporters) confidence inside the fairness of the election,” Thomas added, quoting a recent Supreme Court case which held, “Confidence inside the integrity of our electoral processes is usually essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy.”
“Unclear rules threaten to undermine This kind of system. They sow confusion along with ultimately dampen confidence inside the integrity along with fairness of elections,” he explained. “To prevent confusion, we have thus repeatedly — although not as consistently as we should — blocked rule modifications made by courts close to an election.”
The mail-deadline case did not impact enough votes to change the 2020 election. “however we may not be so lucky inside the future,” Thomas warned. “Indeed, a separate decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court may have already altered an election result.”
which is usually not a prescription for confidence. Changing the rules inside the middle of the game is usually bad enough. Such rule modifications by officials who may lack authority to do so is usually even worse. When those modifications alter election results, they can severely damage the electoral system on which our self-governance so heavily depends. If state officials develop the authority they have claimed, we need to make the item clear. If not, we need to put an end to This kind of practice right now before the consequences become catastrophic.
“At first blush, the item may seem reasonable to address This kind of question when the item next arises,” he aknowledged. “however whatever force which argument has in some other contexts, the item fails inside the context of elections.”
“For factually complex cases, compressing discovery, testimony, along with appeals into This kind of timeline is usually virtually impossible,” Thomas explained of the several-week window to resolve November presidential election disputes before the Electoral College meets in December, adding “This kind of timeframe imposes especially daunting constraints when combined with the expanded use of mail-in ballots.”
“Voting by mail was traditionally limited to voters who had defined, well-documented reasons to be absent,” he observed, however then noted which while only four percent of Pennsylvania votes were by mail-in ballot last cycle, which the number soared to 38 percent in 2020.
“This kind of expansion impedes postelection judicial review because litigation about mail-in ballots is usually substantially more complicated,” Thomas continued, quoting expert reports. “For one thing, as election administrators have long agreed, the risk of fraud is usually vastly more prevalent for mail-in ballots … The reason is usually simple: Absentee voting replaces the oversight which exists at polling places with something akin to an honor system.”
As a result, one article concluded which, “voting by mail is usually right now common enough along with problematic enough which election experts say there have been multiple elections in which no one can say with confidence which candidate was the deserved winner.”
“Because fraud is usually more prevalent with mail-in ballots, increased use of those ballots raises the likelihood which courts will be asked to adjudicate questions which go to the heart of election confidence,” Thomas reasoned after examining several examples.
“[P]erhaps most significant, postelection litigation sometimes forces courts to make policy decisions which they have no business doing,” Thomas added, giving the example which when election officials illegally change rules during an election where some voters have already voted, “courts must choose between potentially disenfranchising a subset of voters along with enforcing the election provisions — such as receipt deadlines — which the legislature believes are necessary for election integrity.”
Filing lawsuits after Election Day “is usually often incapable of testing allegations of systemic maladministration, voter suppression, or fraud which go to the heart of public confidence in election results,” Thomas noted as additional reason to decide these legal issues right now. “An incorrect allegation, left to fester without a robust mechanism to test along with disprove the item, drives honest citizens out of the democratic process along with breeds distrust of our government.”
“Because the judicial system is usually not well suited to address these kinds of questions inside the short time period available immediately after an election, we ought to use available cases outside which truncated context to address these admittedly important questions,” Thomas declared. “Here, we develop the opportunity to do so almost two years before the next federal election cycle. Our refusal to do so by hearing these cases is usually befuddling.”
“The issue presented is usually capable of repetition, yet evades review,” Thomas determined, citing the Court’s standard for hearing cases of This kind of nature:
This kind of exception to mootness, which the Court routinely invokes in election cases, “applies where (1) the challenged action is usually in its duration too short to be fully litigated prior to cessation or expiration, along with (2) there is usually a reasonable expectation which the same complaining party will be subject to the same action again.
“I agree with JUSTICE THOMAS which we should grant review in these cases,” Alito began in a separate dissent, joined by Gorsuch. “They present an important along with recurring constitutional question … which has divided the lower courts, along with our review at This kind of time would certainly be greatly beneficial.”
Quoting the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s concurring opinion coming from the 2000 case Bush v. Gore, Alito continued:
right now, the election is usually over, along with there is usually no reason for refusing to decide the important question which these cases pose. The provisions of the Federal Constitution conferring on state legislatures, not state courts, the authority to make rules governing federal elections would certainly be meaningless if a state court could override the rules adopted by the legislature simply by claiming which a state constitutional provision gave the courts the authority to make whatever rules the item thought appropriate for the conduct of a fair election. however a decision would certainly provide invaluable guidance for future elections.
“Conservatives will be very concerned which Justice Barrett did not provide the fourth along with final vote to take these cases,” former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell—who also served on the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity—told Breitbart News in an exclusive reaction to the Supreme Court’s refusal to take any of these cases. “Republicans have long since written off Roberts, along with Kavanaugh is usually giving us a string of disappointments, however This kind of is usually initially which Barrett has failed to step up to the plate.”
He echoed Thomas, who concluded his dissent with:
One wonders what This kind of Court waits for. We failed to settle This kind of dispute before the election, along with therefore provide clear rules. right now we again fail to provide clear rules for future elections. The decision to leave election law hidden beneath a shroud of doubt is usually baffling. By doing nothing, we invite further confusion along with erosion of voter confidence. Our fellow citizens deserve better along with expect more of us. I respectfully dissent.
The cases are Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Degraffenreid along with Corman v. Pennsylvania Democratic Party, Nos. 20-542 along with 20-574 inside the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court also denied review inside the similar case Donald J. Trump for President v. Degraffenreid along with Trump v. Biden, along with Nos. 20-845 along with 20-882 inside the Supreme Court of the United States.