Thursday, October 29, 2020

SCOTUS Lets Stand New Extended Deadline in NC for Mailed Ballots



In a 5-3 decision yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to order North Carolina to return to an old deadline of November 6th for receiving mailed absentee ballots. The revised deadline of November 12th was allowed to stand, but all mailed ballots still have to be postmarked by next Tuesday, November 3rd.

Newest Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not take part in the deliberations or the decision.

The tag-team of Phil Berger and Tim Moore had brought the suit as a further effort to squelch the legitimate votes of distracted voters, people working two jobs, laggards, and idle layabouts who couldn't get their ballots mailed earlier.

Previous SCOTUS rulings about extended timelines for receiving and counting absentee ballots are confusing some people, particularly Trumpists who don't read. For example, SCOTUS ruled 5-3 on Monday night that Wisconsin could not extend its deadline for accepting mailed ballots.

The difference between North Carolina and Wisconsin is that SCOTUS was dealing with state court decisions in the case of NC, with Federal court decisions in the case of Wisconsin, and so far at least Chief Justice John Roberts is not willing to overrule state courts that are carrying out the mandates contained in their own constitutions. (Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch feel no similar restraint.)

That reluctance for SCOTUS to impose itself on individual state courts (at least in matters of ballot access) is likely to dissolve once Coney Barrett gets unpacked in her new office.

No comments: