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    Supreme Court leaves North Carolina 6-day ballot extension in place

    Supreme Court leaves North Carolina 6-day ballot extension in place

    6-day extension, beyond the three days allowed by statute, means mail-in ballots can be counted in key swing state up to 9 days after election day, November 12.

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    Another loss tonight in the Supreme Court for those who believe, as the Constitution requires, that state legislatures and not state bureaucrats or other elected officials make the rules for federal elections.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has denied an emergency injunction seeking to restore North Carolina’s statutory requirement that mail-in ballots be received within three days after election day, and rejecting the 6-day extension (so 9 days total) imposed by state election officials.

    The only dissents noted were from Thomas, Gorsuch, and Alito. Barrett did not participate.

    From the Order:

    The application for injunctive relief presented to THECHIEF JUSTICE and by him referred to the Court is denied. JUSTICE BARRETT took no part in the consideration or decision of this application.

    JUSTICE THOMAS would grant the application.

    JUSTICE GORSUCH, with whom JUSTICE ALITO joins, dissenting from denial of application for injunctive relief.

    This summer, the General Assembly of North Carolina adopted new election laws expressly designed to address the challenges COVID posed to a fast-approaching election. Among other things, the General Assembly reduced the witness requirement for absentee ballots from two witnesses to one, N. C. Sess. Laws 2020–17 §1.(a); freed up more individuals to staff polling centers, §1. b); created a mechanism to allow voters to track their ballots, §3.(a); enabled voters to request absentee ballots online, §7.(a); and increased funding to ensure the State’s in-person and absentee voting infrastructure could withstand “the coronavirus pandemic,” §11.1(a)–(f ). At the same time, the General Assembly judged it appropriate to retain certain other existing election rules, like the State’s deadline for the receipt of absentee ballots. Accordingly, under state law, absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before election day, and they must be received “not later than three days after” election day. N. C. Gen. Stat. Ann. §163–231(b)(2)b (2019).

    Despite the General Assembly’s considered judgment about the appropriate response to COVID, other state actors—including the State Board of Elections—recently chose to issue their own additional and supplemental set of amendments to state election laws. Relevant here, they purported to extend the absentee ballot receipt deadline by six days, up to November 12….

    In the Fourth Circuit, Judges Wilkinson, Agee, and Niemeyer thoughtfully explained the Board’s constitutional overreach and the broader problems with last-minute election-law-writing-by-lawsuit. As they observed, efforts like these not only offend the Elections Clause’s textual commitment of responsibility for election lawmaking to state and federal legislators, they do damage to faith in the written Constitution as law, to the power of the people to oversee their own government, and to the authority of legislatures. Such last-minute changes by largely unaccountable bodies, too, invite confusion, risk altering election outcomes, and in the process threaten voter confidence in the results.

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    Comments


    I have been thinking about the screamers hitting on “originalist” “constitutionalist” interpretation is “racist/sexist/etc.”

    Sexist: “Women couldn’t vote until 19th amendment in 1920…..”

    No, that is not correct. In Wyoming women could vote, and did, in the 1890’s under states rights. State Motto, Equal Rights.

    Too bad your state sucks…. try fixing the state.

    State Rights is originalist constitution. A good thing. (TM)

    The real problem here is when a State’s Rights interfere with Federal level actions, in other words InterState Commerce.

    If N.C. wants to vote 24/7 for any N.C State positions…. well, go for it. As a business I will not choose to go there.

    But If N.C. interferes in the Federal Election that is different.

    I hope this mess starts to separate Federal and State back to very originalist law.

    ACB has plenty of time to help us fix this starting Nov 4.


     
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    zennyfan | October 29, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Roberta no longer need worry about the court’s 5-4 decisions harming its credibility; it no longer has any to harm.


     
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    puhiawa | October 29, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    The court appears to be institutionalizing voter fraud, and in doing so violates the Constitution itself.

    Soros has already won in many states – with Soros sponsored Secretaries of State lined up to influence the counting.

    This could just be a reflection on which states the left thinks are close enough to steal. That would indicate they think Wisconsin is a lock (one way or the other).


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