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AG Josh Shapiro calls for Commonwealth Court to strike down senators' subpoena demanding release of voter information

The attorney general filed a motion Thursday, arguing that the subpoena issued by State Senators Cris Dush and Jake Corman is illegal.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2021 file photo, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks at a news conference at Marsh Creek State Park in Downingtown, Pa. The high-profile attorney general will formally announce his candidacy for governor of Pennsylvania on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, entering the 2022 race. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed a motion Thursday asking the Commonwealth Court to strike down a subpoena issued by State Senators Cris Dush and Jake Corman demanding access to personal information of nine million Pennsylvanians, which he says the Senators then plan to turn over to an unidentified third party.

Such a subpoena is illegal, Shapiro argues in his motion.

“Pennsylvanians’ fundamental rights are under attack,” Shapiro said in a press release. “These Senators are using their position of power to demand voters’ personal information, all so that they may continue to lie about our elections. It is time for public officials to move past the Big Lie and to start reminding the public that our elections are accurate, fair, and secure.”

Shapiro, who earlier this week announced plans to run for the Pennsylvania governor's office in November, points out in his motion that Dush has given shifting explanations for why he is demanding voters’ personal information, and also that none of those various justifications have any plausible connection to voters’ identifying information. 

And neither Dush nor Corman have cited any evidence suggesting why the information is needed, Shapiro claims.

The motion also notes that the Senate Committee Dush and Corman are using for this effort has not established basic security protocols that would minimize the risk of unauthorized disclosure or misuse of private voter information.

Dush has not even ruled out that he may hire a vendor with connections to some of the biggest perpetrators of the Big Lie to review every Pennsylvanians’ personal information, Shapiro alleges.

"As has been noted time and again, including by the former head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, '[t]he 2020 election was the most secure in U.S. history,'" Shapiro said in his press release.

Opposition to Thursday’s brief is due by October 22, with the Office of Attorney General’s reply due by October 29. The Senate’s final reply is due November 5. 

Arguments have yet to be scheduled.

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