Not Tired of Winning Yet CLIII

A trial judge blocks Pennsylvania vote certification.

Pennsylvania state court  Judge Patricia A. McCullough on Friday, issued a Memorandum of Opinion holding that PA preliminary election certification injunction that took place on November 21, was properly issued, and should be upheld.

You can read the Opinion here.

In other words, the opinion upholds an injunction from a case from earlier in the week. This is not one of the Trump cases: a group of Republican lawmakers and candidates brought a lawsuit arguing that the state legislature’s mail-in voting law—Act 77—violated the commonwealth’s constitution.

This preliminary injunction prevents Pennsylvania from taking any further steps to perfect its certification of the election, including but not limited to appointment of electors and transmission of necessary paperwork to the Electoral College, pending further court hearings and rulings.

Let me explain the significance:

A court is allowed to issue an preliminary injunction, that is, issue a command with the full force of law to the defendant, to do or to forbid a specific action, when an ongoing lawcase is overtaken by events. It is done to prevent injustice and irreparable harm to the plaintiff.

For example, if two parties are in dispute over who owns a bit of land, the one can be enjoined from logging the land, before the question of ownership is settled: because if you cut down trees that belong to me, I cannot put them up again.

Whereas if you are prevented from logging while the trial is ongoing, and they belong to you, you can cut them down after. The inconvenience to you is reversible, but to me, irreversible. The harm to either party if the injunction is granted or not granted has to be weighed.

The injunction can only be issued if the judge finds that the case is likely to succeed. This is to prevent preliminary injunctions from being abused.

This is a case where lawmakers and candidates are challenging the constitutionality of Act 77 under the Pennsylvania Constitution. If the injunction is allowed to stand, and Pennsylvania does not empanel electors by the due date, the Legislature of Pennsylvania may do so directly. This is a Republican controlled majority.