A lot of people read a lot into Justice Samuel Alito setting December 9, 2020, as the date for Pennsylvania and its officials to respond to the Emergency Application for Injunctive Relief filed by people challenging the Pennsylvania certification. The argument was that Alito was going to let the application die on the vine, so to speak, by putting the response date the day after the federal “safe harbor” date for certifying elections, December 8.

I didn’t read read any such intention into it, Pennsylvania – Don’t Assume Alito Giving Until 12/9 To Respond To Emergency Application Means He’s Letting It Die On the Vine.

If anything, I conjectured, perhaps it was a sign that at least some of the Justices were taking it seriously, because a quick denial would be easy. Taking it seriously doesn’t mean they would grant relief, but there may be opinions issued by various Justices, and that would require a few days.

I don’t think the “safe harbor” date would preclude the Supreme Court from acting, but it may have been something weighing on the minds of some Justices, because an “updated” entry on the Supreme Court docket just move the deadline to 9 a.m. Tuesday, December 8.

Response to application (20A98) requested by Justice Alito, due Tuesday, December 8, by 9 a.m. (docket entry updated 12/6/20)

So what is this about?

More mind-reading: It takes the “safe harbor” issue off the table if that were an impediment to SCOTUS issuing a substantive ruling. The Justices can rule on the merits, pro or con.

UPDATE 12-8-2020 9 a.m.

You can read the response filed by Pennsylvania here.


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