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On Monday, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas unleashed on his fellow Supreme Court justices after they voted against taking up cases relating to ballot-integrity measures for the 2020 election and future elections.

“This is not a prescription for confidence,” Thomas said in his dissent on Monday, noting that “changing the rules in the middle of the game is bad enough.”

“That decision to rewrite the rules seems to have affected too few ballots to change the outcome of any federal election. But that may not be the case in the future,” Thomas wrote. “These cases provide us with an ideal opportunity to address just what authority nonlegislative officials have to set election rules, and to do so well before the next election cycle. The refusal to do so is inexplicable.”

Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch also dissented.

“If state officials have the authority they have claimed, we need to make it clear. If not, we need to put an end to this practice now before the consequences become catastrophic,” Thomas added.

“We are fortunate that many of the cases we have seen alleged only improper rule changes, not fraud,” Thomas went on to say. “But that observation provides only small comfort. An election free from strong evidence of systemic fraud is not alone sufficient for election confidence. Also important is the assurance that fraud will not go undetected.”

Conservative reporter Jack Posobiec tweeted on the matter:

Dan McLaughlin with the National Review also took issue with the Supreme Court’s decision. Check out what he had to say:

Few things are worse for public confidence in elections than having the rules changed in the middle of the game (or after it). An epidemic of late-in-the-day changes to the rules was particularly corrosive in 2020. Courts are ill-equipped to referee those changes when partisan tempers are running hot. The Supreme Court just threw away its last opportunity to remedy that problem before the next election cycle.

The Court this morning turned away the remaining challenges to the 2020 election in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona, and Michigan. Some of these challenges were legally meritless, and none of them offered any legitimate grounds to change the outcome of the presidential election, but the Pennsylvania case in particular raised a serious, recurring issue of election law: whether state courts or state executive officials can use the general, open-ended terms of state constitutional provisions to throw out specific rules passed by state legislatures governing federal elections. Articles I and II of the Constitution reserve to state legislatures the power to set rules for federal elections.

That’s exactly what happened in Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania supreme court used the Pennsylvania Constitution’s general guarantees of “free and equal” elections and “free exercise of the right of suffrage” as an excuse to invalidate the state legislature’s explicit deadline for mail-in ballots to be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day — the same time the in-person polls close. That deadline was enacted in 2019 and left untouched in revisions to the mail-in ballot rules during the pandemic in 2020. The Court should have heard the case before Election Day, in order t0 ensure that the rules of the road were set in advance. Refusing to hear the case either before the election or after the election guarantees that the issue remains unsettled for the next election.

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