This will be bittersweet news for a lot of people. A five-judge panel has ruled that Pennsylvania's universal mail-in voting law violates the state's constitution, an argument conservatives have been making since it was enacted in 2019. That election law went on to play a pivotal role in delivering the state for Joe Biden in 2020, who trailed on Election Night, but pulled ahead as more and more mail-in votes were counted.
BREAKING: Pennsylvania court finds universal mail-in voting Act 77 unconstitutional— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) January 28, 2022
The court's decision essentially made the case that any law to make mail-in ballots universal versus only being allowed in defined circumstances needed to come via an amendment to the state's constitution, given the current language. That was the same case former President Donald Trump's legal team attempted to make. Unfortunately, the courts at the time brushed off their challenge. Now, though it's far too late to change things, there is some vindication happening on that front.
Here is a piece of what Commonwealth Judge Mary Levitt wrote in the decision to strike down the law.
If presented to the people, a constitutional amendment to end Article VII, Section 1 requirement of in-person voting is likely to be adopted. But a constitutional amendment must be presented to the people and adopted into our fundamental law before legislation allowing no-excuse mail-in voting can ‘be placed upon our statute books.
The Pennsylvania Constitution contains very narrow language on who can be provided with an absentee ballot. Deployed military members, those who are disabled, and those who can't be in their precinct because of work on Election Day are some examples.
As to what happens next, we already have an answer. Gov. Tom Wolf's administration is going to appeal the decision. It will make its way to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which has a Democrat majority and has already dismissed a prior challenge to the law on a technicality. From there, it's likely that they'll reinstate the mail-in voting law, despite the constitutional conflicts that exist. We live in an era where the judiciary is simply an activist wing for Democrats. While you are always holding your breath on how a Republican-nominated judge will rule, those put in place by Democrats typically vote in lockstep.
If by some chance the law is struck down for good, though, it would represent a win for Republicans looking to normalize elections for the mid-terms. Universal mail-in ballots, especially when combined with long periods of early voting and lax identification standards, are a blight on free and fair elections, in my opinion. There is a certain responsibility that comes with getting up and going to the polls if one is physically able. Mass mail-in ballots are ripe for corruption, including ballot harvesting, and should be opposed.
The idea that the “right to vote” only exists in the absence of any and all guardrails is moronic. But that's the argument Democrats are making all over the country, including in Pennsylvania. By their logic, why not let people vote on their phones? Heck, let's have a full year of early voting. If all procedures and protections qualify as voter suppression, as Democrats claim, then what's the argument for not just blowing up everything?
Democrats would probably support such an argument, though, because everything is about power. The preservation of the integrity of the country's institutions, including the voting process, is not on their radar.