Updated: Feb 26
The U.S. Supreme Court curiously punted on the critical issue of election integrity by refusing to take up cases regarding the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s unconstitutional altering of ballot receipt dates in the 2020 election. The U.S. Constitution explicitly states in Article I, Section 4 (elections clause),
“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators.”
Nowhere does it state that the courts should have any involvement in setting election law, yet despite state election law stating that ballots must be received by 8pm on election day, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made the decision to accept ballots up to three days after election day. There were also questions as to non-uniform vote counting in various counties, and disregard for absentee ballot verification in certain counties… running afoul of both the Pennsylvania Constitution and state election law.
Is Justice Clarence Thomas the only member of the court that believes in the sanctity of constitutions, be they state or federal? He was the strong voice of dissent in the court’s refusal to hear the cases, writing, “That decision to rewrite the rules seems to have affected too few ballots to change the outcome of any federal election. But that may not be the case in the future.” His interest clearly lies in preventing electoral abuses in elections which have not yet arrived, not rehashing the 2020 result. He continued, “These cases provide us with an ideal opportunity to address just what authority nonlegislative officials have to set election rules, and to do so well before the next election cycle. The refusal to do so is inexplicable.” His final point is pivotal, as he makes it clear that the court bears responsibility for interpreting the Constitution, and shoulders the burden of future failures, “If state officials have the authority they have claimed, we need to make it clear. If not, we need to put an end to this practice now before the consequences become catastrophic.”
The Supreme Court is the ultimate interpreter of the U.S. Constitution and arbiter of justice in our nation. By failing to even agree to hear the case, the eight justices on the court have left open the potential for unconstitutional theft of future elections and the disenfranchisement of legitimate votes. If and when the catastrophic results of which Justice Thomas warns come to fruition, it will be these six justices who paved the way for the legalized theft of democracy.
I do not care to re-litigate the 2020 presidential election, nor do I have any expectations that there will be any justice for fraud occurring in the last election cycle. Joe Biden is the President of the United States and that fact will not change. I agree with Justice Thomas that the court’s refusal to even hear such a case portends potential disaster in the future. I also will not claim to have any insight into the court’s reasoning, which they did not provide, nor question the professionalism or patriotism of the justices, but I am questioning their refusal to apply the Constitution to the recent election. In agreement with Justice Thomas, I find it inexplicable as to why the Supreme Court would fail to weigh in on an issue that is so critical to the legitimacy of future governments and stability of our republic. Regardless of who you voted for or on which side of the aisle your ideological leanings lie, every American who has cast a ballot in the past or will cast a ballot in the future should demand of this court that they hear this case and set precedent as to the constitutionality of non-legislators altering election law. This year it was Donald Trump and Republicans who feel as though the election was stolen; next time it could be the Democrats. It reminds me of the verse by Martin Niemoller in response to Hitler’s Nazis in the 1930s,
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
People of integrity, those with a sense of morality, fairness, and justice, do not only speak out when the actions impact them negatively, but when they believe that something unethical, illegal, or immoral has occurred. Now is the time to act on such issues of election integrity. This is not a political issue. It is not an issue that should only concern Republicans. This is an American issue, and can and probably will impact us all at some point in our lives. Can you honestly say that you believe our elections are free of fraud and political shenanigans? The changing of election laws at the last minute and/or by those not constitutionally empowered to do so, ballot harvesting, interruptions of vote counts, ballot dumps, clerical errors, switched votes, and noncitizens and dead people voting… do any of these warrant at least an investigation to ensure that only legal votes are counted in future elections? Thomas correctly asserts, “Unclear rules threaten to undermine this system. They sow confusion and ultimately dampen confidence in the integrity and fairness of elections.” If we let this issue go now and similar events happen in the future, it will be too late to stand up for election integrity.
Justice Thomas wrote, “An election free from strong evidence of systemic fraud is not alone sufficient for election confidence.” How confident are you that our elections are legitimate and free of fraud, and that your vote, and only legal votes, were counted? In the end, we will reap what we sow.