This schedule, in theory, would allow a resolution prior to January 20. And it could even permit a resolution prior to January 6 when Congress formally votes on the electoral votes.

The Court has not formally acted on Eastman’s motion to expedite. But the Court, through the shadow docket, has de facto denied the motion, and indeed the entire challenge. A notation on the docket indicates that Pennsylvania’s response is due on January 22. Two days after the inauguration. And sixteen days after Congress assembles. Game over.

It is unclear if Circuit Justice Alito was responsible for this de facto denial, or if the ruling came from the Clerk. My guess is the former. I doubt the Clerk would act alone on such a significant issue without consultation from the Circuit Justice.