Pennsylvania Judge Who Ordered Halt to Election Certification Believes Act 77 Lawsuit Has Merit
A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge wrote in an opinion last week that the lawsuit filed by several Republicans that Act 77 is unconstitutional has merit. Judge Patricia McCullough also believes the plaintiffs in the lawsuit are likely to win based on their argument.
Now, the lawsuit – which included US Rep. Mike Kelly and candidate Sean Parnell – has been dismissed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in a decision on Saturday. But in a tweet on Saturday night, Parnell promised to appeal that decision to the US Supreme Court.
Earlier in the week last week, McCullough ordered a halt to Pennsylvania’s vote certification at the request of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Pennsylvania had already begun certifying the 2020 election results, including Governor Tom Wolf and Commonwealth Secretary Kathy Boockvar going so far as to pick electors.
The plaintiffs argued that this was rushing to certify the vote while it was actively being contested in several courtrooms in Pennsylvania.
Despite the temporary halt to the certification process, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court stepped in and dismissed the case entirely, blaming the plaintiffs’ late filing of the lawsuit.
In this lawsuit, the Republican plaintiffs argue that Act 77 – which ushered in mass mail-in voting in Pennsylvania for the 2020 elections – is unconstitutional because the General Assembly did not pass a Constitutional Amendment to change the absentee voting process here.
In an opinion released last week, Judge McCullough writes:
“Petitioners appear to have established a likelihood to succeed on the merits because Petitioners have asserted the Constitution does not provide a mechanism for the legislature to allow for expansion of absentee voting without a constitutional amendment. Petitioners appear to have a viable claim that the mail-in ballot procedures set forth in Act 77 contravene Pa. Const. Article VII Section 14 as the plain language of that constitutional provision is at odds with the mail-in provisions of Act 77. 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.”
You can view the entire opinion here:486132522-Memorandum-Opinion-Filed-in-Pennsylvania-by-Judge-McCullough-Election-Likely-Unconstitutional