A Pennsylvania court has ruled that the mass mail-in ballots that played a pivotal role in the 2020 election chaos are unconstitutional.
“The Commonwealth Court ruled that Act 77, which allowed residents no-excuse absentee vote by mail in Pennsylvania, violates Article VII, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania constitution.”
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The Acting Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of State had his application denied for summary relief.
Commonwealth Court President Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt, who presided over a five-person panel of judges, wrote: “If presented to the people, a constitutional amendment to end Article VII, Section 1 requirement of in-person voting is likely to be adopted. But a constitutional amendment must be presented to the people and adopted into our fundamental law before legislation allowing no-excuse mail-in voting can be ‘placed upon our statute books.’”
As the ruling states: “Act 77,inter alia, created the opportunity for all Pennsylvania electors to vote by mail without having to demonstrate a valid reason for absence from their polling place on Election Day, i.e., a reason provided in the Pennsylvania Constitution.”
“The central question presented in this matter is whether Act 77 conforms to Article VII of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which article governs elections,” the ruling states. “In resolving this question, we recognize that ‘acts passed by the General Assembly are strongly presumed to be constitutional’ and that we will not declare a statute unconstitutional ‘unless it clearly, palpably, and plainly violates the Constitution. If there is any doubt that a challenger has failed to reach this high burden, then that doubt must be resolved in favor of finding the statute constitutional.’”
“As has become usual in state politics, the rulings were cast along partisan lines. The three Republican judges ruled according to the constitution, and the two Democrats on the panel ruled according to political expediency,” Kyle Becker reported.
“The decision by a five-judge Commonwealth Court panel may be put on hold immediately due to an appeal by Governor Tom Wolf.”
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court itself played a controversial role in the 2020 election. In 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not hear a case out of Pennsylvania related to the 2020 election and the high court directed the lower court to dismiss the case as moot.