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Supreme Court won't review Pennsylvania GOP election lawsuits

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a series of challenges by Pennsylvania Republicans to the state’s expansive mail voting policy.

The development marked long-deferred action on the pro-Trump litigation that was filed in the heat of the 2020 election and had sought to upend President BidenJoe BidenJapan to possibly ease COVID-19 restrictions before Olympics 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday China supplies millions of vaccine doses to developing nations in Asia MORE’s victory in the key battleground state.

Three of the court’s more conservative justices — Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasMcConnell sparks new Supreme Court fight Supreme Court unanimously rules certain crack offenders not eligible for resentencing Supreme Court confounding its partisan critics MORE, Samuel AlitoSamuel AlitoMcConnell sparks new Supreme Court fight Gorsuch, Thomas join liberal justices in siding with criminal defendant Supreme Court narrows cybercrime law MORE and Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchSupreme Court confounding its partisan critics Gorsuch, Thomas join liberal justices in siding with criminal defendant Supreme Court justice denies Colorado churches' challenge to lockdown authority MORE — dissented from the court’s denial of review in a pair of cases, though the justices made clear they had no desire to disturb the election result.

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Two petitions that the court turned down Monday concerned GOP bids to invalidate Pennsylvania’s extended mail ballot due date. The lawsuits claimed that Pennsylvania’s policy of accepting timely sent ballots that arrived up to three days after Election Day was unlawful.

The three dissenting justices said the court should have seized the opportunity to determine if Pennsylvania’s elections officials and courts had usurped the state legislature’s authority over elections by easing mail voting restrictions.

“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,” Thomas wrote. “The refusal to do so is inexplicable.”

The court’s denial means that fewer than four justices wanted to take up the cases.

Separately, the court also declined to review a bid by Rep. Mike KellyGeorge (Mike) Joseph KellyLobbying world Liz Cheney says McConnell, McCarthy are heads of GOP Female Republicans 'horrified' by male GOP lawmaker's description of Cheney: report MORE (R-Pa.), an ally of former President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos MORE, and others who had asked the court to strike down a Pennsylvania policy that expanded mail voting eligibility.

Biden won three of every four mail-in ballots cast in the state, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer analysis of Pennsylvania Department of State data, and his victory prompted a number of unsuccessful pro-Trump legal challenges to state voting rules.

Updated at 11:47 a.m.