Justice Alito Has Moved Up the Response Time to the Rep. Kelly PA Election Petition to the Morning of Safe Harbor Day: What Does It Mean?

Via Bob Barnes, comes news that Justice Alito had moved the date for the response to Rep. Kelly’s request for emergency relief from Dec. 9 to Dec. 8. I had noted in an earlier post that Justice Alito had initially scheduled the response after the safe harbor day:

The timing here matters. Any final determination of the slate of electors made in a state by the so-called “safe harbor deadline” under the federal Electoral Count Act is entitled to be conclusively accepted as valid by Congress. This year that deadline is Dec. 8. The electors themselves vote on December 14. By setting the deadline for a response as December 9, this means that the Supreme Court won’t act until well after the safe harbor deadline has closed, making it even less likely that the Supreme Court would overturn the results in Pennsylvania.

This timing allows the Court at least in theory to issue some relief by the end of safe harbor day. I would not read too much into this. It shows more respect to the petitioners, and does not make it look like the Court is simply running out the clock on the petition.

I still think the chances the Court grants any relief on this particular petition are virtually zero, for reasons I’ve explained.

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