Go Erie's GOP state lawmakers file lawsuit to have mail-in voting tossed out. Who is suing begins:

In the latest attack on Pennsylvania’s mail-in voting option, 14 Republican state House members filed a lawsuit asking a court to invalidate mail-in balloting by claiming it is unconstitutional.

Lawmakers argued in the suit filed late Tuesday in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court that Act 77, under which no-excuse mail-in voting was allowed, violates the state and U.S. constitutions and should have been pursued through a state constitutional amendment, even though 11 of them voted for the legislation in 2019.

It then lists the fourteen GOP legislators who filed the lawsuit. Of twelve who were House members at the time, eleven voted for the same law they are now suing to invalidate as unconstitutional.

Question: Have any of these eleven House members made any effort to explain publicly why they have changed their minds on this law?


1 Answer 1


Yes - in their statement of interest of Amici Curiae, the reason given is that the House members who voted in favor of the Act were not aware at that time of the constitutional issues they allege exist within it.

Amici do not file this brief in their official capacities as House members, but rather in their personal capacities. Amici have an interest in ensuring that the citizens of Pennsylvania are not disenfranchised by denying them the right to approve an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution that would permit no- excuse mail-in voting. The Pennsylvania Constitution grants the people of Pennsylvania the right to vote on any amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution, and the final say on whether any such amendment is permitted. Act 77 denied the people that right to vote on whether to effectively eliminate the constitutional limits on absentee voting and to permit all otherwise eligible voters to vote with 3 absentee or mail-in ballots without excuse. Amici seek to return the power to approve all amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution to the people of Pennsylvania.

The amici who voted in favor of Act 77 were never given a briefing on the constitutional history of absentee or mail-in voting at the time they approved Act 77 and are not constitutional lawyers by training. Having been made aware of the constitutional issues, they now seek to have Act 77 stricken as unconstitutional because it has not been approved by the Pennsylvania voters.

  • 1
    So in this statement they are saying that Act 77 was, or at least was like an amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution, and as such, should be first approved by the people of the state? This is hard for me, have I got that right?
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 3, 2022 at 13:44
  • 1
    @uhoh if you read further on in that document their legal arguments are set out - they argue that because Act 77 allowed all voters to qualify for vote-by-mail, it had the effect of modifying the PA Constitution which stipulates in Art. VII, § 14 the exemptions by which the ability to vote-by-mail may be granted. If it does indeed modify the constitution, it requires a confirmatory referendum to be implemented.
    – CDJB
    Commented Feb 3, 2022 at 13:49
  • 1
    @uhoh so yeah, pretty much what you said :)
    – CDJB
    Commented Feb 3, 2022 at 13:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .