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GOP asks Supreme Court to halt mail voting extension in Pennsylvania

Republicans on Monday asked the Supreme Court to halt a major Pennsylvania state court ruling that extended the due date for mail ballots in the key battleground, teeing up the first test for the high court since the death of its liberal leader Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgMcConnell backs Garland for attorney general A powerful tool to take on the Supreme Court — if Democrats use it right Fauci says he was nervous about catching COVID-19 in Trump White House MORE.

The filing comes after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against the GOP in an election lawsuit that could help shape the race between President TrumpDonald TrumpDonald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden 'disappointed' in Senate parliamentarian ruling but 'respects' decision Taylor Swift celebrates House passage of Equality Act Donald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' MORE in the Keystone State, which the president won by just over 44,000 votes in 2016.

The Pennsylvania court’s decision earlier this month requires election officials to accept ballots postmarked by Election Day, as long as they arrive within three days. The ruling was seen as a win for Democrats, since Biden voters are more likely than Trump supporters to vote by mail in November.

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In their Monday filing, top officials from Pennsylvania’s GOP-held legislature asked the U.S. Supreme Court to pause the ruling while they formally appeal to the justices.

“In the middle of an ongoing election, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has altered the rules of the election and extended the 2020 General Election beyond the 'Time' established by the state legislature,” they wrote. “In doing so, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has violated federal law and the federal Constitution.”

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania filed a similar request to the Supreme Court later Monday afternoon.

The filings come less than two weeks after Ginsburg’s death from cancer injected further uncertainty into a chaotic 2020 presidential contest that is on track to be the most intensely litigated election in U.S. history. Legal experts say the case is quickly shaping up to be the first big test for the eight-member Supreme Court.

Ginsburg’s death leaves the court with a 5-3 conservative majority. Senate Republicans hope to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett as her replacement before the election.

Updated at 5:13 p.m.