Ruby Lenora personally voted on her 73rd birthday at a polling place at the Milwaukee Public Library in Washington Park, Milwaukee, on the first day of a personal vote in Wisconsin, USA, October 20, 2020.
Bing Guan | Reuters
The Supreme Court on Monday night voted 5-3 against Democrats, who insisted on extending the countdown to absent ballots in Wisconsin by six days to give the state more time to deal with the increase in mail voting caused by the Covid -1
The decision, announced in an order, was taken eight days before election day. Wisconsin is a key country on the battlefield in the battle between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. As a result of the Supreme Court’s move, the ballots will have to be delivered by 20:00 on November 3 to be counted.
The eight judges of the court, divided along partisan lines. The order, which came amid much controversy over the election of judges, was released as the Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Judge Amy Connie Barrett before the Supreme Court. Barrett’s confirmation gave the Conservatives a 6-3 majority.
The Supreme Court ruling followed a ruling by District Court Judge William Conley last month extending the deadline for counting absentee ballots in response to a lawsuit by the Democratic National Committee and its allies. Conley cites the unusually large number of ballots submitted by mail, as well as delays with the U.S. Postal Service.
Such a 6-day extension, which was in effect for the April Wisconsin election, resulted in the counting of 80,000 ballots that would otherwise be disqualified, or 5% of the total number of ballots, according to the Wisconsin Electoral Commission.
Trump, who lags behind Biden by about five percentage points in state opinion polls, won the state over Democrat Hillary Clinton by just 23,000 votes in 2016.
A panel of the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals blocked Conley’s decision earlier in October. Democrats appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn the appellate court’s decision, but judges refused to do so.
Judge Neil Gorsuh, writing about himself and Judge Brett Cavanaugh, wrote that he opposed the extension because the constitution provided for elected officials, not judges, to set election rules. Gorsuh and Cavanaugh were appointed by Trump.
“Lawmakers can be held accountable by the people for the rules they write or do not write; usually judges cannot,” Gorshuh wrote. “Legislatures make policy and carry the collective wisdom of the whole nation when they do so, while the courts distribute judgments to only one person or a handful.”
Chief Justice John Roberts, who sided with the three Liberals in court earlier this month to allow Pennsylvania to count ballots received after election day, wrote separately to differentiate cases.
“Different laws and different precedents govern these two situations and require, in these particular circumstances, that we allow electoral rules to change in Pennsylvania, but not in Wisconsin,” Roberts wrote.
Justice Elena Kagan wrote in disagreement, joined by her fellow Liberals Judges Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, that the majority’s decision “deprives citizens of the right to deprive them of their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote.”
“As the Court refuses to reinstate the district court order, Wisconsin will discard thousands of timely and timely ballots,” Kagan wrote.
Kagan said the decision was “not independent”. In other recent cases, she wrote, the court has also made it difficult for people to vote safely.
“As the COVID pandemic rages, the Court has failed to adequately protect the nation’s voters,” she wrote.
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