Trump allies take a victory lap after Pennsylvania court decision

Trump allies take a victory lap after Pennsylvania court decision

Former President Donald Trump and his allies say they are vindicated after a Pennsylvania court struck down the state’s no-excuse mail-in voting law enacted before the November 2020 presidential election.

The court decision aligns with pushback from GOP challengers who say wide-spread mail-in voting caused unprecedented chaos and tipped the scales in favor of President Biden in the state in 2020.

“All American Patriots are thanking the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania for having the courage to do the right thing,” Mr. Trump said in a statement.

Mr. Trump, who has continued to claim that the 2020 election was rigged in favor of Mr. Biden, said the Pennsylvania decision calls into question the validity of mail-in voting practices across the country.

“Here is the key question: If widespread mail-in balloting is unconstitutional in Pennsylvania now, how could mail-in balloting have been constitutional in the RIGGED 2020 Presidential Election then?” he said.

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania handed down its opinion Friday declaring that the 2019 law known as Act 77, violated the Pennsylvania state constitution.

The Pennsylvania law was a key focus for members of Congress who objected to the 2020 election certification in January of 2021.

One of those lawmakers, Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, took a victory lap in the wake of the court decision.

“Turns out the Pennsylvania mail-in balloting law was unconstitutional, as I said when I objected to certifying Pennsylvania electoral votes,” he said Saturday in a fundraising email.

Former Rep. Lou Barletta, a close Trump ally and current Republican contender in the state’s gubernatorial race, also chimed in.

“Now we know that not only was Act 77 a terrible law, it was also unconstitutional and shouldn’t have been passed in the first place,” he said.

Just over 2.5 million people voted under the law’s expansion of mail-in voting in the 2020 presidential election, most of them Democrats, out of 6.9 million votes cast.

The mail-in voting law has become a hot topic on the campaign trail, with nearly every Republican candidate for governor — including two of three state senators who voted for it — vowing to repeal it.

In Friday’s decision, the three Republican judges agreed with GOP challengers — including 11 lawmakers who voted for the law — and ruled that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state constitution until the constitution is changed to allow it.

The two Democrats on the court dissented.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration swiftly appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court.

Mr. Barletta said, if elected, he will repeal Act 77 if it remains on the books “after court appeals are exhausted.”

“I believe mail-in voting should be preserved only for those who cannot vote on Election Day,” he said. “In addition, we should require sound signature matching and identification for every voter and clear the rolls of people who have died or moved out of state.”

“These are common-sense ideas that promote integrity in our elections and enjoy widespread public support,” he said.

— This story includes wire reporting.