In what looks to be the first major test of the new post-RBG iteration of the Supreme Court, which could soon have a 6-3 conservative majority, the GOP is planning to ask SCOTUS to review a major PA state court decision that extended the due date for mail-in ballots in a critical battleground state.
The news was first reported by the Hill, but the party's intentions were actually revealed in a set of court documents published overnight. The PA Supreme Court decision was handed down last week. Under the ruling, PA must accept ballots postmarked by Election Day, so long as they arrive within three days.
Ginsburg's death leaves SCOTUS with a 5-3 conservative majority: However, both Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch have, in the past, broken with their fellow conservatives on decisions ranging from health-care to immigration. As Dems cry about the court moving to curtail voting rights, it's important to remember nobody knows how a justice will rule on any given issue until a case has been heard. Their past rulings are merely a guide.
With the expectation being that Ginsburg's replacement will be installed and sworn in before the court hears this ruling (Republicans are shooting to wrap up the confirmation votes next week after Trump announces his final decision on Saturday), it will be a test more broadly of where the conservative-dominated court stands on voting rights and access - issues that Democrats are trying to elevate.
PA Republicans argued the state court's decision "creates a serious likelihood that Pennsylvania's imminent general election "will be tainted by votes that were illegally cast or mailed after Election Day."
In the petition, the state GOP says it has a "substantial case on the merits" that this presumption is preempted by federal law and violates the US Constitution. After all, SCOTUS earlier this year stayed a judgment extending Wisconsin's implied postmark deadline for absentee ballots because the decision "extended the date by which ballots may be cast".