WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a defeat to Republicans seeking to throw out up to 2.5 million mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania as they try to undo President Donald Trump’s election loss, with the justices refusing to block the state from formalizing President-elect Joe Biden’s victory there.
The court in a brief order rejected a request made by U.S. congressman Mike Kelly, a Trump ally, and other Pennsylvania Republicans who filed a lawsuit after the Nov. 3 election arguing that the state’s 2019 expansion of mail-in voting was illegal under state law.
The order states, “The application for injunctive relief presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied.”
Pennsylvania was one of the pivotal states in the election, with Biden, a Democrat, defeating Trump there after the Republican president won the state in 2016. State officials had already certified the election results.
There were no noted dissents from any of the justices on the court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority including three Trump appointees.
The Republican plaintiffs argued that the universal, “no-excuse” mail-in ballot program passed by the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania legislature in 2019, enabling voters to cast ballots by mail for any reason, violated the state’s constitution.
Biden beat President Donald Trump by more than 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, a state Trump had won in 2016. Most mail-in ballots were submitted by Democrats.
This is a developing story; check back for updates.
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report