State of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Philadelphia Canvassing Observation Challenge

In re: Canvassing Operation

Lawsuit brought by the Trump campaign against the Philadelphia Board of Elections arguing that the election commissioners did not provide Republican poll observers “meaningful access” to observe the canvassing process of absentee and mail-in ballots at the Philadelphia Convention Center in accordance with Pennsylvania law. After hearing testimony from a witness, the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas found that the observation allowed for the Trump campaign “complied with the relevant provisions of the Election Code” and denied the petition. The Trump campaign appealed this decision to the Commonwealth Court, which reversed the Court of Common Pleas’ opinion and remanded the case back to it. Then, the Philadelphia Board of Elections filed an emergency petition with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court asking “to accept emergency review to consider the Commonwealth Court’s decision of first-impression.” On Nov. 17, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated (meaning voided) the Commonwealth Court’s decision and reinstated the Court of Common Pleas’ order denying the Trump campaign’s request for expanded observation access. The Trump campaign filed a petition for writ of certiorari — which invoked the radical independent state legislature theory — in the U.S. Supreme Court, but the petition was denied on Feb. 22, 2021.

This case was one of the lawsuits former President Donald Trump and his allies brought in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election. 

Case documents (Pa Court of Common Pleas)

Case Documents ( Pa Commonwealth Court)

Case Documents (PA Supreme court)

Case Documents (U.s. supreme Court)

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