Pennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Saturday rejected a last-ditch bid from Republicans including Rep. Mike KellyGeorge (Mike) Joseph KellyREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Here are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results On The Money: Congress passes bill to avert shutdown as coronavirus talks drag into weekend | Federal Reserve fight imperils relief talks MORE (Pa.) to halt the certification of the 2020 election results in the Keystone State. 

The court's decision delivered the latest blow for Republicans, President TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE and his campaign to overturn election results in a battleground state that President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFear of insider attack prompts additional FBI screening of National Guard troops: AP Iran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries MORE won by more than 1 percentage point. 

In an order released Saturday night, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated a preliminary order by the Commonwealth Court and dismissed the case.


"Upon consideration of the parties' filings in Commonwealth Court, we hereby dismiss the petition for review with prejudice based upon Petitioners' failure to file their facial constitutional challenge in a timely manner," the order read. 

The ruling comes after Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough on Wednesday ordered state officials to halt further steps to certify the state's election results one day after Gov. Tom WolfTom WolfThousands of troops dig in for inauguration Governors respond to violence at Capitol Pa. governor calls GOP refusal to seat Democrat a 'shameful power grab'  MORE (D) certified the Keystone State's results for Biden. 

Following McCullough's order, Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar and Wolf appealed the order to the state's high court.

The latest order by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reverses McCullough's decision. 

Originally, an emergency petition was filed in state court last weekend by the GOP ahead of Monday's deadline to certify the election results, a process that would solidify a defeat for Trump. 

Plaintiffs including Kelly asked the court to invalidate a universal mail-in voting policy that was signed by Wolf and passed by a Republican-held legislature last year. They argued that provisions that allowed expanded mail-in voting in the state were unconstitutional, according to the order.


"As a remedy, Petitioners sought to invalidate the ballots of the millions of Pennsylvania voters who utilized the mail-in voting procedures established by Act 77 and count only those ballots that Petitioners deem to be 'legal votes,'" the order continued. 

The rejected bid is part of a multistate effort by Republicans and Trump allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election in favor of Trump. However, election law experts have noted that lawsuits pressed by the Trump campaign and its allies are not going to succeed in their intended result.

Trump has still refused to concede the election to Biden. However, the president said this week that he would leave the White House if Biden is declared the winner of the Electoral College. 

"Certainly I will. And you know that," Trump said when asked if he would leave the White House if the Electoral College voted for Biden.

"If they do, they made a mistake," he added. 

Updated 7:37 p.m.