‘One wonders what this Court waits for’: Thomas dissents as Pennsylvania cases dropped

by WorldTribune Staff, February 22, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review election lawsuits by Pennsylvania Republicans challenging the state’s extension of the deadline for mail-in ballots.

U.S. Supreme Court / Wikimedia Commons

The Pennsylvania Republican Party’s lawsuit claimed the Pennsylvania secretary of state illegally changed mail-in voting requirements and extended deadlines for the Nov. 3 election.

Trump-nominated Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett sided with the liberal justices in refusing to hear the cases.

Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas dissented.

In his dissent, Thomas warned of “catastrophic” consequences if the court doesn’t address what happened in the November election.

Thomas wrote: “Changing the rules in the middle of the game is bad enough. Such rule changes by officials who may lack authority to do so is even worse. When those changes alter election results, they can severely damage the electoral system on which our self-governance so heavily depends. If state officials have the authority they have claimed, we need to make it clear. If not, we need to put an end to this practice now before the consequences become catastrophic.”

Thomas concluded: “One wonders what this Court waits for. We failed to settle this dispute before the election, and thus provide clear rules. Now we again fail to provide clear rules for future elections. The decision to leave election law hidden beneath a shroud of doubt is baffling. By doing nothing, we invite further confusion and erosion of voter confidence. Our fellow citizens deserve better and expect more of us. I respectfully dissent.

(View Thomas’s dissent in full here).

“The election is over, and there is no reason for refusing to decide the important question that these cases pose,” Justice Alito wrote in a dissent.

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