Supreme Court Tie Allows 3-Day Extension for Pennsylvania Ballots

The Supreme Court on Monday refused a Republican request to block an extended period for counting ballots in Pennsylvania, allowing mail-in ballots received up to three days after Election Day to be counted. 

A 4-4 tie in the Court — Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the Court’s three liberal justices — means the state court ruling favoring Democrats is affirmed and upheld.

While Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh sided with the state GOP, saying they would have granted the stay, the lower court ruling favoring Democrats prevailed under the procedures for breaking a tie in the Court. The bench is down one justice after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month. That seat is expected to be filled by President Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett next week.

The Court had considered the GOP’s request for almost two weeks. Neither side explained its reasoning, as is common with emergency requests.

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