Brazenly Partisan PA Supreme Court Reinstates No-Excuse Mail-Voting

In a brazenly partisan decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld Act 77's no-excuse mail-voting law challenged last year by Bradford County election official Doug McLinko.

Lawyers Democracy Fund, who backed the litigation, explains:

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court forsook 160 years of controlling precedent and constitutional interpretation to uphold Act 77, Pennsylvania’s no-excuse absentee voting law.  Litigation has been ongoing over the past year challenging the constitutionality of Act 77 under the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Historically, Pennsylvania voters alone possessed the power to approve any and all expansions to who may vote by mail by constitutional amendment.  Today’s decision to uphold Act 77, however, which was decided on purely partisan grounds, permanently undermined this power.  The Court’s five progressive justices turned a blind eye to the clear text of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which expressly limits who is eligible to vote by mail.  The Court held, “We find no restriction in our Constitution on the General Assembly’s ability to create universal mail-in voting.

RNLA Chair Harmeet Dhillon is part of the legal team representing McLinko.

As Pennsylvania state Representative Seth Grove points out, the chaos of Pennsylvania's elections will surely continue after this decision:

“While some may celebrate this ruling and others denounce it, the reality is we still have election laws and processes that are failing our voters and election administrators. Until we update our voting laws, Pennsylvania will continue to have chaos in our elections.”

For 160 years, the people of Pennsylvania and the State Supreme Court observed a Constitutional requirement to vote in person. Every time the people wanted to expand absentee voting, they amended the Constitution. But why bother? All they needed was a partisan majority of five Democrat Justices to amend the Constitution. Five judges changed 160 years of settled law. It took them 76 pages of semantic contortions to change what used to require a vote of the people. The people of Pennsylvania need to elect judges who will faithfully interpret the law, not legislate from the bench.