Courts twisted justice in challenges to the 2020 election, including the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which decided lawmakers didn’t mean “shall” when they wrote “shall,” contended a columnist for The Federalist.
In the Pennsylvania case, Ziccarelli v. Allegheny County Board of Elections, the court acknowledged the election code explicitly states each voter “shall fill out, date, and sign” the declaration on the outside envelope of mail-in ballots.
But the court, ruling on the validity of 2,400 ballots, insisted the general assembly’s use of the word “shall” in that context means “of necessity that the directive is a mandatory one.”
Consequently, wrote Bob Anderson, a former aerospace engineer who worked on the International Space Station, Americans remain divided over the integrity of the election.
He argued “the losing side needed to know that a fair shake was given, and that justice prevailed, even if it wasn’t the outcome they wanted.”
“That did not happen after Nov. 3. Despite a stack of cases that worked their way through the legal system, we remain bitterly divided,” he wrote.
He pointed out that ABC’s George Stephanopoulos felt the need to berate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in an interview with the demand: “Can’t you just say the words: This election was not stolen?”
“Why must he shout?” Anderson asked, “There were 86 challenges filed by President Trump and his allies in court. All were dismissed!”
ABC said in a tweet regarding the interview: “Sen. Rand Paul won’t say the 2020 election wasn’t stolen, calls for investigation of fraud, but doesn’t provide evidence.”
Pressed repeatedly by @GStephanopoulos, Sen. Rand Paul won’t say the 2020 election wasn’t stolen, calls for investigation of fraud, but doesn’t provide evidence.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 24, 2021
Anderson noted that on Monday, the Supreme Court rejected, without comment, the last of the 2020 election challenges. He said the courts are needed in such matters because “wise judges can help to bring peace and healing.”
“Surely, for a nation reeling after a tempestuous presidential election filled with strange occurrences, the courts were needed to bring us together,” he said.
He pointed out that nearly two of three Republicans believe Joe Biden did not win fairly.
He noted that 28 unique cases filed by President Trump’s campaign or its allies were dismissed on procedural grounds, including a prominent lawsuit by the state of Texas.
The simple fact is that “few were ever considered on the merits.”
A Georgia case, for example, challenged the drop in the state’s ballot rejection rate from 1.53% in 2018 to 0.15% in 2020. The judge said the plaintiff had sued the “improper party,” so the issue was never addressed.
“Also, did 20,000 people vote who do not live in the state, when Georgia’s electoral votes were allotted by an approximately 12,000 margin to Biden? We never learned the answers to those questions nor even examined the evidence, because Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was not a candidate for office nor the election superintendent who conducted the election, and therefore per state law, was not liable,” he said.
Other cases were killed becauses of deadlines and judges’ demands that the case “wind its way through lower courts.”
“So we are left with the memory of the videos of vote counters clapping as Republican observers were evicted and of covers being placed over windows,” Anderson said.
When two plaintiffs noted some Democratic counties allowed voters to “fix” ballots while Republican counties did not, the judge threw out the case because the plaintiffs were from Republican counties.
Many cases challenged the altering of election laws by state officials to allow the counting of certain mail-in ballots, even though the Constitution grants that authority only to state lawmakers.
In one case, poll watchers were allowed by courts into rooms where counting was taking place but not close enough to see anything that was going on.
“Republicans also often found themselves in an impossible ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ situation on the timing of challenges to election laws,” wrote Anderson.
Some officials said complaints were filed too soon or too late. One court claimed an election complaint should “have been filed before the election.”
Then the Supreme Court went AWOL.
“The nation’s highest court showed some early inclination for involvement in the brewing election issues, such as Justice Samuel Alito’s order to separate certain late ballots in Pennsylvania in Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar. Yet it soon took a different tone. A petition to expedite a hearing was denied and later the court refused the case,” Anderson said.
“In December, the court rejected a key lawsuit filed by the state of Texas (Texas v. Pennsylvania), and joined by 18 other state attorneys general, alleging that Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin violated the U.S. Constitution by changing election procedures through non-legislative means. The justices ruled that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of the election held by another state,” he said.
“The court could have held these claims up to the objective light of justice, and either exposed it all as painfully true or wildly false, but it didn’t.”
And the court “refused to hear any of Sidney Powell’s cases—in Arizona, Wisconsin, and Michigan—and in doing so, deprived Americans of the chance to hear evidence for and against very serious claims that electronic voting machines could be manipulated. Of all of the allegations, perhaps none more so instilled fear into voters as the possibility that our votes could be tampered with and changed, thwarting democracy itself,” Anderson wrote.
He concluded: “In the end, should we be surprised that voters retain a strong sense of skepticism over the outcome of the presidential election? That a man who largely campaigned from his basement, who exhibited signs of age-related mental decline, could handily defeat a vigorous incumbent who drew immense crowds is naturally hard to believe.
“The election of 2020, which included more than 155 million votes, was decided by approximately 300,000 votes in six states, or 0.2 percent of the electorate, all of which came by an unnatural flip of results late on election night. … The reality is that millions of others may have been disenfranchised, and they instinctively suspect so.”
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