The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a Trump campaign ballot observer had no right to stand any particular distance away from election workers as they counted ballots.
The 5-2 ruling is yet another loss for the Trump administration and its election lawsuits. The loss also overturns a lower court ruling that the outgoing president called a “major win,” according to CNN, although the lower court ruling didn’t affect a single vote.
The state’s high court determined Trump campaign observer Jeremy Mercer was able to do everything he was allowed to under the law while observing the absentee ballot process in Philadelphia. Mercer told the court he could not verify signature declarations on envelopes from where he was standing.
However, the court said Mercer would only need that information if his intent was to challenge individual ballots, something an observer cannot do under state law.
“As found by the trial court, Attorney Mercer was able to appropriately observe that the Board’s employees were performing their duties under the Election Code,” the state high court wrote in its opinion according to CNN.
The court added state law only requires observers to be in the room where ballots are counted. The state does not have a maximum distance between ballot counters and observers.
According to NBC News’ election map, President-elect Joe Biden won the state by more than 74,000 votes. The ruling in this case came during a break in another hearing where President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani argued to a federal judge in the state that widespread voter fraud in the state led to Biden winning.
ABC News reported Giuliani and his team of lawyers spent the weekend attempting to wrestle power from the Trump campaign leadership by claiming the president had given them full control moving forward.
According to the report, Giuliani’s team has taken over office space in the Trump campaign’s Arlington, Virginia, headquarters and Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis began telling Trump campaign staffers they now report to her.