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In the category of: A win for voting
The Supreme Court handed down a brief, unsigned order on Monday, which effectively rejected radical arguments by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania that sought to make it harder to vote in that state. This order, in other words, is a victory for voting rights — but that victory may only last a matter of days.
Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar involves a state Supreme Court order holding that many ballots received up to three days after Election Day must be counted. Monday’s order means that this state Supreme Court decision will stand, for now.
The Court’s decision not to grant relief to the GOP in Republican Party is not especially surprising. What is surprising is the vote breakdown in this case. The Court voted 4-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts crossing over to vote with the three liberal justices.
So in the almost certain event that Trump Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to join the Supreme Court, there could be five votes on the Supreme Court who support the GOP’s effort to toss out many ballots in the state of Pennsylvania. Indeed, it is possible that Republicans will attempt to raise the same issue before the justices after Barrett is confirmed.
In the category of: Double-checking
In the category of: First Comey, now Wray
It wasn’t supposed to be this way for Chris Wray.
The Trump-appointed FBI director was confirmed to his post on a promise to steer clear of the go-it-alone gambits that earned his predecessor, James Comey, the wrath of Democrats and Republicans alike. Where Comey took politically explosive steps without consulting superiors and offered personal opinions about Hillary Clinton that proved damaging to her campaign, Wray would hug his bosses close and keep silent about anyone not facing criminal charges.
“It’s never been my practice to speak publicly as a prosecutor or as a department official about uncharged individuals,” Wray said during his July 2017 confirmation hearing. “I think those policies are important. I think they’re in place for a reason and I would expect to comply with them.”
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