Pennsylvania Judge Orders A Stop On State’s Election Certification

 

On Wednesday, a judge in Pennsylvania halted further certification of the state’s election results. This is not enough to hand Trump the election or even the state of Pennsylvania, but it is enough to keep his struggling legal battle alive.

The Trump legal team claims that Republican poll watchers were prevented from inspecting mail-in ballots in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and elsewhere in Pennsylvania.

The Trump team also claims that more than 670,000 ballots lacked proper inspection, and are demanding that those votes be thrown out.

In a telephone statement at the hearing, President Trump commended the witnesses as “patriots.”

“I really appreciate being asked to speak and I am in the Oval Office right now, and it is very interesting to see what is going on and this was an election we won easily. We won it by a lot. This is not the United States of America,” Trump said.

“This election was rigged and we can’t let that happen. This election has to be turned around,” he added.

Judge Patricia McCullough for the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued the order freezing the certification process pending an evidentiary hearing scheduled for Friday.

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and Gov. Tom Wolf, both Democrats, announced Tuesday that they certified the results and named Mr. Biden the winner.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, said the state will appeal Judge McCullough’s order to the state Supreme Court.

“This order does not impact yesterday’s appointment of electors,” he said in a tweet.

In Pennsylvania, Biden is leading Mr. Trump by more than 80,000 votes or 1.2%.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and other state officials condemned the ruling.

“Since the birth of our nation nearly 250 years ago, no court has ever issued an order purporting to interfere with a state’s ascertainment of its presidential electors — until today. There is no conceivable justification for the lower court’s issuance of such an order in this case,” state officials wrote in their appeal.

Wolf and Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar, both Democrats, asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to lift the order by McCullough, a Republican, and dismiss the underlying suit, which claimed a state law passed to expand the use of mail-in voting was illegal.

“The order purports to interfere with the ongoing process of seating presidential electors and precludes certification of any other result from the 2020 general election. This extraordinary act of judicial overreach threatens to undermine the integrity of Pennsylvania’s elections and reduce public confidence in them,” the appeal said.

The case is separate from the federal lawsuit by President Donald Trump’s campaign that seeks to undo Pennsylvania’s certification unless tens of thousands of allegedly illegal mail-in ballots are invalidated.

In an earlier court filing, Boockvar said that the Trump legal team “had not offered any explanation, let alone a satisfactory one, for why they delayed bringing their challenge until more than a year (and two elections)” after the state adopted the mail-in voting expansion.

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