More on the NC Supreme Court race, received via email:
Incumbent North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (Democrat) took a 1,033-vote lead over Justice Paul Newby (Republican) around 10:00 pm as counties completed their canvassing. Since 3 November, about 37,000 mail-in ballots were accepted, along with 41,000 provisional ballots. The counties have been processing, evaluating, and tabulating those ballots for the 13 November canvass.
Justice Newby has filed protests in at least seven counties challenging the Vote by Mail consent decree in federal litigation last month. New Hanover, Durham, Wake, Robeson, Mecklenburg, Duplin, Guilford. In each county, Newby is petitioning as himself. Some counties will hear the protests Saturday morning when they meet to canvass their votes.
It is anticipated Justice Newby will file a lawsuit in federal court shortly, challenging the consent decree’s extension of the time for absentee ballots to be returned through 12 November, provided they were postmarked by Election Day.
The decree Newby is challenging was issued by the US Supreme Court in October, before the election, based on a unanimous vote of the NC State Board of Elections. Here's the backstory, from Scotusblog:
The Supreme Court on Wednesday (October 21) night rejected a request by the Trump campaign and North Carolina Republicans to intervene in a dispute over the deadline for mail-in ballots in North Carolina. With three justices dissenting, the court left in place an extension of the deadline for the receipt of mail-in ballots to nine days after the election. Just as she had in a ruling a few hours earlier on a similar issue in Pennsylvania, Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the court’s decision.
Wednesday’s ruling came in a dispute that began when the North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans and a group of voters filed a lawsuit in state court to challenge the state’s rule that mail-in ballots must be received by Nov. 6, three days after Election Day. The challengers argued that the deadline should be extended in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The state court eventually approved a consent agreement between the challengers and the state’s board of elections that extended the deadline for mail-in ballots by six days, to Nov. 12.
Two Republican legislators – Timothy Moore, the Republican speaker of the state’s House of Representatives, and Philip Berger, the highest-ranking Republican in the state’s senate — went to federal court in North Carolina to stop the consent agreement from going into effect, as did the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit turned down their request on Oct. 20, by a vote of 12-3, with dissenting Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson urging them to “take this case up to the Supreme Court immediately.”
Moore, Berger, the Trump campaign and the RNC came to the Supreme Court two days later. They argued that the justices should step in because the extension of the deadline for absentee ballots violates two different provisions of the Constitution: the elections clause, by taking away the state legislature’s responsibility to determine the time, place and manner for federal elections; and the equal protection clause, by applying different rules depending on when voters cast their ballots. They told the justices that election officials “are disserving North Carolina voters and sowing considerable confusion through their” consent agreement and “ever-changing directives.” the Trump campaign and the RNC also asked the Supreme Court to issue a decision on the merits of the case “as soon as possible.”
The state and NCARA urged the justices to stay out of the fray. They argued that the campaign, the RNC and the legislators do not have a legal right, known as “standing,” to challenge the extension of the deadline. And in any event, they concluded, the merits of their claims rested on “anomalous interpretations of longstanding and long-settled constitutional dictates.” An order from the Supreme Court blocking the extension of the deadline, they warned, would “risk the very confusion and potential disenfranchisement that this Court has cautioned against by imposing a new deadline on the receipt of absentee ballots that is six days earlier than advertised.”
In a pair of brief orders on Wednesday night, the justices turned down the requests without explanation, leaving the extended deadline in place.
Thousands of citizens made their plans and voted in the 2020 election based on a schedule that was clearly affirmed by actions of the US Supreme Court. To go back and revisit that schedule weeks after the fact is not just ludicrous, it's an assault on the most sacred right of citizens. Paul Newby is undertaking such an assault to protect his personal interest over the interests of thousands of voters. North Carolina doesn't need that kind of "justice."