Pa. lawmakers file lawsuit against Shapiro, Biden over election-related orders

Pennsylvania State Freedom Caucus
State Rep. Dawn Keefer, who heads the Pennsylvania Freedom Caucus, is the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit filed against President Biden, Gov. Josh Shapiro and Pennsylvania Department of State officials over orders they issued that lawmakers claim usurps legislative authority when it comes to elections. File/Dan Gleiter |

A group of conservative Pennsylvania lawmakers have filed suit against President Joe Biden and Gov. Josh Shapiro over their use of executive authority in election matters.

In the 33-page complaint filed on Thursday in U.S. Middle District Court, the Pennsylvania Freedom Caucus asks the court to halt activities authorized through executive orders that expand voter registration and outreach.

They claim the orders are unconstitutional in that they removed guardrails legislators put in place to ensure fair elections and deprive legislators of their civil rights.

Rep. Dawn Keefer, R-York County, who heads the Pennsylvania Freedom Caucus, said in a statement, “The citizens of Pennsylvania have been victimized by extraordinary overreach of executive officials who have made changes to election laws with no authority to do so.”

She went on: “If we don’t take action to stop this, there is no limit to the changes they might make to further erode Pennsylvania’s election system in 2024 and beyond.”

Joining her in this lawsuit against Biden, Shapiro, Secretary of State Al Schmidt and Deputy Secretary for Elections and Commissions Jonathan Marks are 22 other GOP representatives and Sen. Cris Dush, R-Jefferson County.

Shapiro spokesman Manuel Bonder responded to the lawsuit, saying, “It is abundantly clear that Governor Shapiro’s commonsense action to securely streamline voter registration and enhance election security is within the administration’s authority. Any suggestion that the administration lacks the authority to implement automatic voter registration is frivolous. This Administration looks forward to once again defending our democracy in court against those advancing extreme, undemocratic legal theories.Governor Shapiro remains focused on protecting our democracy and ensuring our elections are free, fair, safe, and secure.”

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