Refusal of the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to hear a number of Petitions challenging the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin (Defendant States) will enable President Trump to justifiably maintain his claim that:
...election officials in each of the Defendant States altered or otherwise failed to enforce state election laws in the conduct of the 2020 election.
Justice Thomas – in a dissenting opinion in the Pennsylvania case – identified the common issue requiring determination in those rejected Petitions:
The Constitution gives to each state legislature authority to determine the "Manner" of federal elections. Art. I, §4, cl. 1; Art. II, §1, cl. 2. Yet both before and after the 2020 election, nonlegislative officials in various States took it upon themselves to set the rules instead. As a result, we received an unusually high number of petitions and emergency applications contesting those changes…. These cases provide us with an ideal opportunity to address just what authority nonlegislative officials have to set election rules, and to do so well before the next election cycle. The refusal to do so is inexplicable.
Justice Alito – supported by Justice Gorsuch - published his own dissenting opinion – stating:
These cases call out for review.
Six other Supreme Court judges disagreed – but regrettably failed to deliver written reasons justifying their refusal to hear the Petitions.
Justice Thomas was critical of the majority decision:
One wonders what this Court waits for. We failed to settle this dispute before the election, and thus provide clear rules. Now we again fail to provide clear rules for future elections. The decision to leave election law hidden beneath a shroud of doubt is baffling. By doing nothing, we invite further confusion and erosion of voter confidence. Our fellow citizens deserve better and expect more of us.
Justice Thomas was at pains to point out the problems faced by the Supreme Court in the short time frame available between 3 November and 8 December:
Five to six weeks for judicial testing is difficult enough for straightforward cases. For factually complex cases, compressing discovery, testimony, and appeals into this timeline is virtually impossible.
Justice Thomas highlighted that:
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