Though Alito originally called for response arguments from the Commonwealth to be filed by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9th, the case docket was changed Sunday morning to move that deadline up to Tuesday, Dec. 8, by 9 a.m. The change is critical. Pennsylvania’s members of the electoral college are due to meet at noon on Dec. 14th in Harrisburg to cast their votes for president.
As Law&Crime has previously reported, and as Kelly’s arguments point out, federal election law sets a so-called “safe harbor” deadline which requires controversies “concerning the appointment of all or any of the electors … by judicial or other methods or procedures” to be determined “at least six days before the time fixed for the meeting of the electors.” Alito’s original Dec. 9th deadline failed to take that window into account. His new deadline does.