The Third Circuit recently issued a ruling taking the latest leftist arrow and litigation strategy out of its quiver. In the case NAACP v. Schmidt they effectively ended the Left’s weaponization Civil Rights Act to undo basic voting process requirements, which could influence future litigation nationwide.

Pennsylvania state law requires mail-in voters to sign and date their ballot envelopes when casting a vote. Immediately, left-leaning organizations such as the Pennsylvania NAACP and League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania sued to block the law, claiming it violated the Civil Rights Act. In a remarkable 2-1 panel decision of Democrat appointed judges, the Third Circuit disagreed with the plaintiffs.

Part of the Civil Rights Act prohibits a state from disqualifying voters based on errors or omissions to paperwork that are “not material”—or, essentially, unimportant—in determining whether an individual is qualified to vote. The Left has tried to claim that signing and dating ballots is not important to the voting process.

In their decision, the Third Circuit properly held that the Civil Rights Act only governs state determinations about who may vote, not how they vote. According to the Third Circuit, the legislative language indicates that the provision was meant to protect minor mistakes from determining voter’s eligibility to register to vote.

It was a Clinton appointed judge, Judge Thomas L. Ambro, that wrote the opinion, and in defending the legislature’s right to regulate the voting process he writes:

“[i]f state law provides that ballots completed in different color inks, or secrecy envelopes containing improper markings, or envelopes missing a date must be discounted, that is a legislative choice that federal courts might review if there is unequal application, but they have no power to review under the Materiality Provision. And we know no authority that the “right to vote” encompasses the right to have a ballot counted that is defective under state law.”

If the Legislature wrote that there should be dates, come Election Day, a ballot must have a date. Deviating from the legislative requirements impacts the results by determining which ballots are counted and which are not. Rules are rules and of all days Election Day is perhaps the most important time to follow them.

This case will continue to be important as it could shape future election litigation in Pennsylvania and beyond. By giving greater clarity to its meaning of the Civil Rights Act, this Third Circuit decision will prevent the Left from weaponizing it against other clear voting requirements necessary to uphold election integrity efforts.

The significance of an election integrity win on a Pennsylvania issue handed down from Democrat appointed judges should not be lost. After many disappointments in Pennsylvania state courts, a victory from the Third Circuit Court inspires newfound hope that Pennsylvania citizens can have elections that follow the law as enacted by their elected representatives. All that election integrity advocates want is security, transparency, and respect for legal order.