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 KellyLobbying world Lobbying world Liz Cheney says McConnell, McCarthy are heads of GOP 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 TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix MORE and his campaign to overturn election results in a battleground state that President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Republicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change Biden on hecklers: 'This is not a Trump rally. Let 'em holler' 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.

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"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 WolfDOJ declines to investigate Pennsylvania's COVID-19 nursing home regulations Pennsylvania's election audit moves follow the partisan playbook Pennsylvania governor vetoes GOP-backed elections bill 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.

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"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.