Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

Justice Kavanaugh corrects an error in opinion that alarmed Democrats.

Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh on Wednesday corrected an error in an opinion he issued as part of a Supreme Court ruling that barred Wisconsin from counting mail-in ballots that arrive after Election Day.

The opinion, issued on Monday, alarmed Democrats, not just because of its implications for the results of the election in Wisconsin, a swing state, but also because they viewed it as giving public support to President Trump’s unfounded argument that results counted after Nov. 3 could be riddled with fraudulent votes.

Justice Kavanaugh wrote that while some states had changed their rules around voting in response to the pandemic, others had not. He singled out Vermont as an example of a state that had not modified its rules because of the coronavirus.

The decision, issued just over a week before the election, prompted a complaint from Vermont’s secretary of state, Jim Condos. He pointed out that the state had, in fact, changed its rules to accommodate voters worried about casting ballots in person during a pandemic.

Mr. Condos wrote to the clerk of the court and said Vermont had made two key changes this year: All active, registered voters had received a ballot and a prepaid envelope, and election officials were authorized to start processing the ballots in the 30 days leading up to Election Day.

“Vermont is not an accurate comparison for the assertion Justice Kavanaugh has made,” he wrote.

Mr. Condos also posted a copy of the letter to Twitter saying, “When it comes to issuing decisions on the voting rights of American citizens, facts matter.”

By Wednesday evening, Justice Kavanaugh’s opinion had been changed to read that Vermont and other states had not changed their “election-deadline” rules in response to the pandemic.

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