A surprising reversal, under the circumstances, and one that might end up aggravating the current conflict over the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett. Republicans had appealed a lower-court ruling that extended the period for receiving absentee ballots in Wisconsin to well past Election Day. Their first attempt to get the ruling overturned by the Seventh Circuit failed.
Rather than go immediately to the Supreme Court, the GOP rolled the dice on an en banc review, for reasons that will become clear in a moment. Jackpot, although it’s not clear whether this is an actual en banc decision:
A federal appeals court on Thursday blocked a decision to extend the deadline for counting absentee ballots in battleground Wisconsin, in a win for Republicans who have fought attempts to expand voting across the country.
If the ruling stands, absentee ballots will have to be delivered to Wisconsin election clerks by 8 p.m. on Election Day if they are to be counted. Results of the presidential race in the pivotal swing state would be known within hours of polls closing. …
Republicans appealed to a three-judge panel at the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The panel upheld Conley’s ruling on Sept. 29.
Republicans then asked all 11 members of the court to review the case. The court stayed Conley’s decision on Thursday.