Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to join Rep. Mike Kelly's legal team if Supreme Court hears election challenge, lawyer confirms
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The future of U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly’s lawsuit trying to overturn the election results could be determined tomorrow. Meanwhile, Kelly's legal team confirmed Monday that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will argue Kelly’s case if the U.S. Supreme Court chooses to hear it.
The deadline is now Tuesday at 9a.m. for Governor Tom Wolf’s administration to respond to Kelly’s lawsuit, according to U.S. Supreme Court Samuel Alito over the weekend. Alito oversees emergency requests that originate in Pennsylvania.
Kelly (R) is among a group of petitioners claiming Pennsylvania’s 2019 voting reform bill, known as Act 77, is unconstitutional. Act 77 allows for no-excuse mail-in voting. Kelly is asking the U.S. Supreme Court is throw out more than 2.5 million mail-in votes cast in Pennsylvania ahead of and on the Nov. 3 election.
Deeming those mail-in votes as unconstitutional would likely give President Donald Trump a victory in Pennsylvania if a larger number of Democrats voted by mail. But, winning the Keystone State would still leave Trump short of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House. Democratic nominee Joe Biden, the president-elect, captured a projected 306 electoral votes to Trump’s projected 232 electoral votes. Biden won Pennsylvania by approximately 80,000 votes.
The deadline for Kelly’s case comes on the same day known as the “safe harbor,” when states' election results are to be finalized before the Electoral College votes in their respective state capitals on Dec. 14.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out Kelly’s case last week. Alito and U.S. Supreme Court justices likely would need to hear and rule on this case by the Dec. 14 vote to uphold the commonwealth's 20 electoral votes for Biden.
Kelly’s attorney said their case is based on this premise: voting procedures need to be changed through the state constitution, not a law.
“Our petitioners have… a federal and state right to vote. They have a right not to have their vote diluted by votes that are unlawfully cast,” said Greg Teufel, attorney for Kelly and fellow Republican petitioner, former congressional candidate Sean Parnell. “Our petitioners have a right as candidates… to have only lawful votes counted in the election that they are running for office in.”
Kelly overwhelmingly won re-election last month in the 16th Congressional District, while Parnell narrowly lost to incumbent Democrat Conor Lamb (D-Mt. Lebanon) in the 17th Congressional District.
While it is possible the U.S. Supreme Court could hear the case, overturning the results and throwing out the mail-in ballots both are likely longshots.
Monday afternoon, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) has agreed to argue Kelly’s case if the Supreme Court agrees to hear it. The news was first reported by Fox News and later confirmed by Teufel to Erie News Now.