A federal judge put the Trump campaign’s lawsuit over Pennsylvania’s mail voting expansion on hold to allow state courts to weigh in, CNN reports.
Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit seeking to make mail voting harder in the state after repeatedly pushing a debunked conspiracy theory that mail voting is rife with fraud even though many states have long voted by mail.
The lawsuit seeks to ban ballot drop boxes, which the campaign claims were not explicitly authorized by the state legislature, and wants to lift a residency requirement for poll watchers so that any Pennsylvania voter can police polling sites for potential fraud.
Judge orders stay:
Judge Nicholas Ranjan, a Trump appointee, said that the lawsuit should be put on hold while the issues in the complaint are litigated by state courts.
"After carefully considering the arguments raised by the parties, the Court finds that the appropriate course is abstention, at least for the time being. In other words, the Court will apply the brakes to this lawsuit, and allow the Pennsylvania state courts to weigh in and interpret the state statutes that undergird Plaintiffs' federal- constitutional claims," Ranjan wrote.
Ranjan previously told the campaign they had to provide evidence of fraud in Pennsylvania.
"The Court finds that instances of voter fraud are relevant to the claims and defenses in this case," Ranjan wrote.
Trump campaign optimistic:
"The President's fight against the problems of Pennsylvania's radical new vote-by-mail system has been running on parallel tracks in state and federal court for some time," Justin Clark, Trump 2020 deputy campaign manager, told CNN.
"The judge's stay today is simply a recognition that the multitude of issues surrounding Pennsylvania's dangerous voting system—including ballot harvesting and double voting—touch both federal and state constitutional issues. The federal court is simply going to reserve its judgment on this in the hopes that the state court will resolve these serious issues and guarantee that every Pennsylvanian has their vote counted—once."