Republican Attorneys General from Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States concerning the mail-in ballot lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania.
“Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our Republic and it’s one of the reasons why the United States is the envy of the world,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a press conference on Monday. “We have to ensure that every legal vote cast is counted in that every illegal vote cast is not counted.”
The lawsuit in question, Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar, challenges the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to allow mail-in ballots that arrived after Election Day to be counted, despite state laws mandating otherwise. Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr. already granted the Republican Party of Pennsylvania’s request and temporarily ordered all counties segregate mail-in ballots that arrived after 8 p.m. on Election Day from others, but the lawsuit is still pending petition in the highest court.
“The actions taken by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court are one of the most breathtaking abuses of judicial authority that I’ve seen in my four-plus years as attorney general,” Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said.
The attorneys’ hope is that by filing as “friends of the Court” and demonstrating a “strong interest” in the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s potential decision that SCOTUS may be more willing to take up the case.
In the brief, the Republican AGs state that they believe the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overstepped its bounds and violated the Constitution’s Election Clauses which grant state legislatures the ability and “unique role” to decide certain election procedures and not the courts.
“Our system of federalism relies on separation of powers to preserve liberty at every level of government, and the separation of powers in the Election Clauses is no exception to this principle,” the brief states.
They also believe the decision handed down by the Pennsylvania Court expanded the potential for voter fraud. This decision, the attorneys general argue, may have affected the weight of votes in states outside of Pennsylvania which is in direct violation of previous Court rulings stating that every vote must be “fairly counted without its being distorted by fraudulently cast votes.”
“Regardless of the election’s outcome, only legal ballots should be counted,” the brief continues, citing Anderson v. United States from 1974.
“We as attorneys general and we, as the chief legal officers of our state have a responsibility to address that kind of judicial abuse of authority because of the precedent that that decision represents can affect the outcome of elections, not only in Pennsylvania but national elections,” Hunter said.