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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 tees up Barrett nomination, setting up rare weekend session Jaime Harrison raises million in two weeks for South Carolina Senate bid Dozens of legal experts throw weight behind Supreme Court term limit bill 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 John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFacebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus 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.