10 Republican attorneys general (AGs), led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, today filed a multi-state amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar, the Pennsylvania mail-in ballot challenge case. A copy of the filed brief can be found here.
— Lynn Fitch (@LynnFitchAG) November 9, 2020
The coalition of AGs argue in the brief that the Supreme Court must immediately grant writs of certiorari and reverse the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s unconstitutional decision to allow mail-in ballots to be received three days after Election Day, some without postmarks. The AGs make three main arguments in the filing. First, that Pennsylvania overstepped its constitutional authority in accepting late ballots and violated the Election Clauses of the Constitution. Second, that voting by mail creates voter fraud risks. Third, that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision exacerbated risks of absentee ballot fraud.
The Republican AGs held a virtual press conference today to announce their collective legal action in this case. Watch the full press conference here or in the video embedded below.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who led the multi-state brief, said during the press conference, “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. We have to ensure that every legal vote cast is counted and that every illegal vote not cast is not counted. To do so would disenfranchise millions of Americans and why we filed this brief today seeking the Supreme Court to take the Pennsylvania case and then reverse the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision.”
The coalition of AGs write that the Election Clauses in the Constitution were designed to prohibit the power over Presidential elections by non-legislative officials, such as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. They state, “By violating the Constitution’s separation of powers, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court undermined the liberty of all Pennsylvanians, and, in this Presidential election, the liberty of all Americans.” (p. 8)
The AGs make the clear argument that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling exacerbated the risks of fraud and abuse of in mail-in voting. They write, “This decision created needless vulnerability to actual fraud and undermined public confidence in a Presidential election.” (p. 17)
The brief also cites several previous examples of voter fraud by mail-in or absentee voting, including the indictment of Berkeley, Missouri Mayor Ted Hoskins, allegations of vote-by-mail-fraud in Paterson, New Jersey, and the indictment of Hector Ramirez, a candidate for Assembly in the Bronx, for voter fraud. (p. 12-16). The brief also includes previous examples of vote-by-mail or absentee ballot fraud, specifically in Pennsylvania.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is joined in the filing today by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost also filed a separate amicus brief today in this case, also asking the Supreme Court to take up the issue and conclude that the actions of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court in ordering the extension were unconstitutional. You can read the brief by Ohio here. In addition, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter plans to file an amicus brief tomorrow in the same case.