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Tags court cases , Pennsylvania cases , Pennsylvania issues , Ted Cruz

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Old 2nd December 2020, 08:52 AM   #1
gnome
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Legal Catch-22 in PA?

There's a particular topic in a recent appeal in the state of PA that interests me:

https://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=5482

Quote:
Even more persuasively, the plaintiffs point out that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has also held that plaintiffs don't have standing to challenge an election law until after the election, meaning that the court effectively put them in a Catch-22: before the election, they lacked standing; after the election, they've delayed too long. The result of the court's gamesmanship is that a facially unconstitutional election law can never be judicially challenged.
I'm looking to untangle this because I feel strongly that lawsuits about the rules of an election should occur before the election and I'm getting hit back with this.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 08:56 AM   #2
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Given the source, I think it's worth checking that the statement about why the plaintiffs are held not to have standing isn't an outright lie.

Dave
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Old 2nd December 2020, 09:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Given the source, I think it's worth checking that the statement about why the plaintiffs are held not to have standing isn't an outright lie.

Dave
I also can't find anything to support that this lawsuit would have been denied standing if filed prior to the election.

The denial on the bases of laches was not a surprising result. Waiting until after the election and requesting that huge parts of the voting populace be disenfranchised because you think the rules weren't correct is an extreme request. The obvious question is "why didn't you complain before all this damage was done" is asked.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 09:14 AM   #4
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Indeed - timing is not the issue of the lack of standing.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 09:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I also can't find anything to support that this lawsuit would have been denied standing if filed prior to the election.

The denial on the bases of laches was not a surprising result. Waiting until after the election and requesting that huge parts of the voting populace be disenfranchised because you think the rules weren't correct is an extreme request. The obvious question is "why didn't you complain before all this damage was done" is asked.
Or even sought redress, if one isn't trying to disenfranchise voters but only effect future elections for example, it would be different.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 09:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
There's a particular topic in a recent appeal in the state of PA that interests me:

https://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=5482



I'm looking to untangle this because I feel strongly that lawsuits about the rules of an election should occur before the election and I'm getting hit back with this.
Just from the few judgements I read the italicised text seems to be conflating judgements incorrectly. The standing decision was simply that the plaintiffs needed to file against their county not the state, and the too long was based on another set of plaintiffs who could have had filed months ago.

I suspect like always the actual legal filing will be different to the claims made outwith the court.

Have you got a link to the appeal documents?
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Old 2nd December 2020, 09:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Given the source, I think it's worth checking that the statement about why the plaintiffs are held not to have standing isn't an outright lie.

Dave


In Googling around, it's not clear that such a suit was even filed.

There's a wiki page for election lawsuits filed prior to the election, and the only one listed for Pennsylvania deals with the extension of the deadline for mail-in votes. I think that's the one the Republicans actually won, so there certainly wasn't a ruling against them based only on a lack of standing.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-el...n#Pennsylvania
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Old 2nd December 2020, 09:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
The denial on the bases of laches was not a surprising result. Waiting until after the election and requesting that huge parts of the voting populace be disenfranchised because you think the rules weren't correct is an extreme request. The obvious question is "why didn't you complain before all this damage was done" is asked.
Cruz is also claiming that Pennsylvania was "chang[ing] the rules in the middle of the game" by enacting a law in advance of the election then conducting the election entirely in accordance with that law, while implying that waiting till the election's over then demanding to have votes thrown out that were made in accordance with that law will somehow be fairer. I managed to get behind the sofa before my irony meter exploded, but it'll take a fair while to tidy up the living room.

Dave
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Old 2nd December 2020, 10:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
There's a particular topic in a recent appeal in the state of PA that interests me:

https://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=5482



I'm looking to untangle this because I feel strongly that lawsuits about the rules of an election should occur before the election and I'm getting hit back with this.
Given the fact that this analysis comes from Ted Cruz who is just another stupid, idiotic, lying, Trump lackey, then I am not going to bother with it.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 10:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I also can't find anything to support that this lawsuit would have been denied standing if filed prior to the election.

The denial on the bases of laches was not a surprising result. Waiting until after the election and requesting that huge parts of the voting populace be disenfranchised because you think the rules weren't correct is an extreme request. The obvious question is "why didn't you complain before all this damage was done" is asked.
That's exactly my point. It didn't even occur to me that the appeal might refer to a hypothetical rather than a real case. I'll look in that direction.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 10:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
Given the fact that this analysis comes from Ted Cruz who is just another stupid, idiotic, lying, Trump lackey, then I am not going to bother with it.
I was trying to be polite, but that's basically what I meant in post #2.

Dave

ETA: Though, of course, in Cruz's case, lying and being a Trump lackey seem relatively unconnected.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 10:51 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
Given the fact that this analysis comes from Ted Cruz who is just another stupid, idiotic, lying, Trump lackey, then I am not going to bother with it.
Whose wife is ugly and whose father assassinated JFK, according to Trump. I'm still boggled at the number of Republicans once slandered by Trump who now have there noses up his backside.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 11:06 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Whose wife is ugly and whose father assassinated JFK, according to Trump. I'm still boggled at the number of Republicans once slandered by Trump who now have there noses up his backside.


You forgot to mention him being the Zodiac Killer.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 11:16 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
In Googling around, it's not clear that such a suit was even filed.

There's a wiki page for election lawsuits filed prior to the election, and the only one listed for Pennsylvania deals with the extension of the deadline for mail-in votes. I think that's the one the Republicans actually won, so there certainly wasn't a ruling against them based only on a lack of standing.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-el...n#Pennsylvania
Originally Posted by gnome View Post
That's exactly my point. It didn't even occur to me that the appeal might refer to a hypothetical rather than a real case. I'll look in that direction.

Further to my above post, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has a page dedicated to cases of public interest, which includes one specifically for the 2020 election:

http://www.pacourts.us/news-and-stat.../election-2020


I've looked at all the ones that could possibly have been the one Cruz alluded to, and they were all post-election filings.

So, either Cruz is full of ****, as expected, or the Penn supreme court page dedicated to tracking cases related to the 2020 election just happens to be missing this case.

At this point I'll call Cruz's claim made-up ********, until and unless he can point us to this alleged ruling.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 11:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
At this point I'll call Cruz's claim made-up ********, until and unless he can point us to this alleged ruling.
I think Cruz, a Harvard Law grad, was careful enough to cage his comment in "the plaintiffs point out that" language so that he can flimsily claim that he was merely repeating what was claimed by the plaintiffs.

Side note: if the plaintiffs pointed this out in court or in a filing with the court they would have provided a citation to the relevant case at that point. So, if I cared to look into this, that is where I would look.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 11:50 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
You forgot to mention him being the Zodiac Killer.
Yeah but, that one's actually true.




ETA: My mom met his wife and said that she was a lovely and smart woman. My mom, who is fairly liberal for a woman of her age in this state, could not figure out how Ted landed such a lovely woman.
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Last edited by Dr. Keith; 2nd December 2020 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 3rd December 2020, 06:11 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Whose wife is ugly and whose father assassinated JFK, according to Trump. I'm still boggled at the number of Republicans once slandered by Trump who now have there noses up his backside.
Well sure, Trump knows he's the Zodiac killer!

EDIT: ****, someone already said that, I suck.
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Old 3rd December 2020, 07:35 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
There's a particular topic in a recent appeal in the state of PA that interests me:

https://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=5482



I'm looking to untangle this because I feel strongly that lawsuits about the rules of an election should occur before the election and I'm getting hit back with this.
Yeah, that's a bunch of BS.

Problem #1:

THERE WAS ALREDY AN ELECTION UNDER THE RULES THEY ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT. The primary. If they had an issue, they could have fought about it then.

Problem #2:

They can argue for standing based on imminent harm.

Problem #3:

Even if the did try to sue before, and were told they don't lack standing, then they can just refile later and that helps their argument & proposed remedy.
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Old 3rd December 2020, 07:42 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by bonzombiekitty View Post
Problem #2:

They can argue for standing based on imminent harm.

.
The standing question is interesting, but for sure any candidate in the election could have sued ahead of time.

Voters? That's a different question.
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Old 3rd December 2020, 10:21 PM   #20
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FWIW, here's what Wikipedia says about standing:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_(law)

I think it would be likely that citizens of Pennsylvania would have had standing to challenge the constitutionality of the law if they had sued in a timely manner. That doesn't mean that they would have prevailed.

Since Cruz gives no footnote to the particular case to which he refers, I cannot verify his claim. I wouldn't just take him at his word.
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Old 3rd December 2020, 10:36 PM   #21
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In Pennsylvania, Republicans control both houses of the state legislature.

The law in question was passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature by strong majorities in both houses.

Quote:
The state House of Representatives on Tuesday advanced the bill in a 138-61 vote. Later that day, the state Senate approved it in a 35-14 vote.
Quote:
Numerous lawmakers on both sides of the aisle joined the governor in applauding the new law.

"This bill was not written to benefit one party or the other, or any one candidate or single election," said House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler, a Republican who represents the 100th District. "It was developed over a multi-year period with input of people from different backgrounds and regions of Pennsylvania."
The plaintiffs are now arguing that a law passed by over two-thirds majorities in both Houses of the legislature, in which Republicans held the majority in both Houses, was unconstitutional.

Since they did not raise an objection at the time, laches a defense.

Who would have had standing to challenge the law is moot if nobody even tried to. Candidates? Probably. Voters? Sure, why not? They would be affected by the law.

Quote:
In the United States, the current doctrine is that a person cannot bring a suit challenging the constitutionality of a law unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that he/it is or will "imminently" be harmed by the law. Otherwise, the court will rule that the plaintiff "lacks standing" to bring the suit, and will dismiss the case without considering the merits of the claim of unconstitutionality. To have a court declare a law unconstitutional, there must be a valid reason for the lawsuit. The party suing must have something to lose in order to sue unless it has automatic standing by action of law.
I don't think that "the wrong person won" is a "harm" in the legal sense. They would have had to show that the law would have disenfranchised them, or somehow harmed them in some way.
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Old 4th December 2020, 10:47 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I don't think that "the wrong person won" is a "harm" in the legal sense. They would have had to show that the law would have disenfranchised them, or somehow harmed them in some way.


One argument I saw was that people who voted in person had less time to vote (one day vs. several weeks) as compared to those who voted by mail, and that this was effectively discriminatory to in-person voters.

Of course, this falls apart when you realize that every voter had the option of voting by mail. Those who opted to vote in person made a choice to limit themselves, it was not imposed on them by anyone else. That far more Republicans than Democrats made this choice doesn't matter, it was still their choice.
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Old 4th December 2020, 11:46 AM   #23
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In the request for injunction, they wrote the following

Quote:
On March 19, 2019, the Pennsylvania General Assembly introduced a joint resolution to amend Article VII, 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution in order to drastically expand absentee voting – permitting all voters to do so without an excuse. See Senate Bill 411, 2019 (later incorporated into Senate Bill 413). App. pp.43-44, 36. The legislative history of the proposed amendment recognizes that “Pennsylvania’s current Constitution restricts voters wanting to vote by absentee ballot to [specific] situations…” Senator Mike Folmer & Senator Judith Schwank, Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda to S.B. 411 (Jan. 29, 2019, 10:46 AM), https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs...cfm?chamber=S& SPick=20190&cosponId=28056. App. p.44, 37. The amendment proposes to “eliminate these limitations, empowering voters to request and submit absentee ballots for any reason – allowing them to vote early and by mail.” Id.
A) is this true?

B) if true, can we say the legislature thinks 77 is constitutional?
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Old 4th December 2020, 12:08 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
The plaintiffs are now arguing that a law passed by over two-thirds majorities in both Houses of the legislature, in which Republicans held the majority in both Houses, was unconstitutional.

Since they did not raise an objection at the time, laches a defense.
To be fair, it is possible for a 2/3 majority to pass unconstitutional laws. The bigger problem is that the same people who passed the laws are now supporting having them overturned.

And oh, yeah, that part about it was perfectly fine until they lost, too.
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Old 4th December 2020, 12:25 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Who would have had standing to challenge the law is moot if nobody even tried to. Candidates? Probably. Voters? Sure, why not? They would be affected by the law.
.
I disagree that the voters would have standing. They may be "affected" by the law, but how are they harmed? They'd have to show how allowing others to use mail in votes harmed them, since they were allowed to use mail-in voting, too, if they wanted to.

Something like that came up in the federal case in PA. The voters sued because others were allowed to cure their vote, and these folks weren't. The judge denied standing because they were complaining about policies in other counties that didn't apply to them. If they were to sue anyone, they should be suing their own counties that didn't let them cure their vote. In other words, the other county allowing voters to cure their vote did not harm you.

In this case, it's even worse because the plaintiffs (voters) would already have the same rights, so the fact that others utilize it does not mean you are harmed.

I think the candidate has a stronger argument on the grounds that if it is unconstitutional, then illegal votes will be counted.
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