Pennsylvania Supreme Court refuses to halt GOP defeat in election lawsuit

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday refused to halt its previous ruling rejecting a last-ditch GOP bid to prevent further action on the certification of the 2020 election results in the state.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) certified President-elect Joe Biden’s win early last week, making it unclear what effect, if any, the long-shot Republican legal challenge would have on the race.

Still, GOP challengers will file an emergency injunction request Thursday afternoon to the U.S. Supreme Court before filing a more formal appeal request to the justices, their attorney Gregory Teufel said.

According to election law experts, courts are extremely reluctant to disturb election results that have already been certified.

Among the plaintiffs in the suit in the Keystone State is President Trump’s ally Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.). The challengers’ original complaint, filed in Pennsylvania state court late last month, sought to strike down an expanded mail ballot policy that Pennsylvania put in place in 2019 after it was passed by the state's GOP-held legislature.

Biden won three of every four mail-in ballots cast in the state, according to an analysis of Pennsylvania Department of State data by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Last week the Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed the case, citing the litigants' undue delay in bringing the challenge. The court dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning its ruling was final and that litigants would be prohibited from trying another lawsuit in state court based on the same grounds.

The court’s decision Thursday to deny Republicans’ stay request is likely the last meaningful activity the case will see at the state level.

The defeat Thursday was just the latest blow to an increasingly desperate legal effort by the Trump campaign and its Republican allies to use lawsuits to try to overturn the result of the national election that Biden won by more than 6 million votes.

In at least one of its post-election lawsuits, opposing counsel asked a court to impose sanctions on the Trump campaign for unprofessional conduct, though a federal judge in Michigan overseeing the case declined to do so.