Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan rejected a Republican appeal to block Montana’s mail voting expansion amid the coronavirus pandemic, CNN reports.
Kagan, who has jurisdiction over the federal court that allowed the mail voting plan to proceed, denied a request.
Montana Republicans had hoped she would refer the petition to the full Supreme Court.
"While Covid is a national tragedy, it poses no emergency," James Bopp, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, argued in court documents, noting that the state legislature had allowed anyone to apply for a mail ballot due to the pandemic.
Montana plans to send all voters ballots:
The lawsuit challenged Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s directive to mail ballots to every registered voter.
Multiple lower courts upheld the order.
Bullock issued a similar directive during the primaries.
A federal judge separately blocked a separate challenge from the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee challenging the directive.
SCOTUS upholds SC rule:
The Supreme Court ruled earlier this week to side with South Carolina Republicans to uphold a rule requiring voters casting ballots by mail to have a witness signature on their ballots.
The court said any ballots that were already cast do not have to meet the requirement but all subsequent ballots must contain a witness signature.
“This new ruling will confuse voters, as just one week ago they received information that witness signatures were no longer required,” Shaundra Young Scott, the state party’s voter protection director, said in a statement. “Voters who have sent in ballots under the previous waiver are concerned that their ballots may not be counted.”