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Judge Orders Halt To Further Vote Certification, Prompting Quick Appeal To Pennsylvania Supreme Court

HARRISBURG (KDKA) - There was more legal action in court Wednesday after the certification on Tuesday that Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by over 80,000 votes.

On Wednesday morning, a Commonwealth Court judge ordered the state to temporarily stop the further certification of election results for president and all down-ballot races.

That brought swift reaction from state officials.

Thanksgiving hasn't stopped the lawyers and judges from opinions, motions, briefs and appeals.

Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough, a Republican, agreed with Republicans Mike Kelly and Sean Parnell and enjoined or stopped further state certifications of election winners until a Friday hearing. That brought an immediate appeal to the state Supreme Court.

"It's not unusual for a judge in a normal case sometimes to put a case on hold so you can have an evidentiary hearing, which is scheduled for Friday. It is highly unusual and inappropriate to do that in an election case," Cliff Levine, attorney for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Wednesday.

That's especially true, says Levine, when the Kelly-Parnell lawsuit wants to disqualify all 2.6 million no-excuse mail-in votes, three-quarters of which were cast by Democrats.

"They want to now just eliminate the mail-in Democrats so that we will end up with a result that only the people who voted on Election Day would count," said Levine. "It's totally absurd. It's ludicrous."

But Greg Teufel, Kelly and Parnell's attorney, says the General Assembly had no authority under the state Constitution to enact no-excuse mail-in voting, and it's reasonable to stop certification until that issue is resolved by the Court.

"We have asked that certification of results that include unconstitutional mail-in ballots that don't qualify as absentee ballots and were not otherwise properly cast as required by the Constitution not be included in the certification of the 2020 election," says Teufel.

But not counting mail-in votes would allow Donald Trump to win Pennsylvania, which is why the opposing parties so quickly appealed Judge McCullough's order to the state Supreme Court.

Some lawyers say Kelly and Parnell should have challenged the constitutionality of this law, passed over a year ago, long before votes were cast in this presidential election.

No word yet on whether the state Supreme Court will take this case before the Commonwealth Court completes its hearing and issues a final judgment.

Judge McCullough postponed the Friday hearing, pending word from the Supreme Court.

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