“Our fellow citizens deserve better and expect more of us,” Justice Clarence Thomas declared Monday, when the Supreme Court decided — by one vote –to hear none of the 2020 election cases raising issues of voter fraud and illegal votes.
Why Justice Thomas’s words on the Elections are so Important. I feel that this is so important, so I’m inviting all the folks in my tag groups. Regardless of how you feel about the 2020 Elections, Justice Thomas said things that do point out where he thought politics were played and changes were made to existing laws. That can’t be denied I’m going to post his full response to the courts decision to not hear the Pennsylvania complaints. I’ll highlight what I feel were important points. As always be civil. No name calling. Justice Thomas.
“The Constitution gives to each state legislature authority to determine the ‘Manner’ of federal elections,” began Thomas. “Yet both before and after the 2020 election, nonlegislative officials in various States took it upon themselves to set the rules instead. As a result, we received an unusually high number of petitions and emergency applications contesting those changes. The petitions here present a clear example.”
“The Pennsylvania Legislature established an unambiguous deadline for receiving mail-in ballots: 8 p.m. on election day. Dissatisfied, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended that deadline by three days,” Thomas explained, referring to one of the rejected cases. “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.”
“For more than a century, this Court has recognized that the Constitution operates as a limitation upon the State in respect of any attempt to circumscribe the legislative power to regulate federal elections,” he continued, quoting Supreme Court precedent. “Because the Federal Constitution, not state constitutions, gives state legislatures authority to regulate federal elections, petitioners presented a strong argument that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision violated the Constitution by overriding the clearly expressed intent of the legislature.”
“But elections enable self-governance only when they include processes that give citizens (including the losing candidates and their supporters) confidence in the fairness of the election,” Thomas added, quoting a recent Supreme Court case that held, “Confidence in the integrity of our electoral processes is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy.”
“Unclear rules threaten to undermine this system. They sow confusion and ultimately dampen confidence in the integrity and fairness of elections,” he explained. “To prevent confusion, we have thus repeatedly — although not as consistently as we should — blocked rule changes made by courts close to an election.”
The mail-deadline case did not impact enough votes to change the 2020 election. “But we may not be so lucky in the future,” Thomas warned. “Indeed, a separate decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court may have already altered an election result.”
That is not a prescription for confidence. Changing the rules in the middle of the game is bad enough. Such rule changes by officials who may lack authority to do so is even worse. When those changes alter election results, they can severely damage the electoral system on which our self-governance so heavily depends. 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.