...at least one court decision suggests there is some federal authority to invalidate the election outcome after the fact.On what basis could a Federal court claim the power to decide who would run a co-equal branch of government? Or do we not recognize any limits on Federal courts now?
In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand the ruling of a federal district judge in Pennsylvania that invalidated a state senate election and ordered the vacancy be filled by the losing opponent.
The Pennsylvania state senate held a special election in November 1993 to fill a seat that had been left vacant by the death of the previous democratic senator, and pitted Republican Bruce Marks against Democrat William G. Stinson for the spot. Stinson was named the winner, but massive fraud was later uncovered that resulted in litigation.
Two of the elected officials who testified in the Pennsylvania case said under oath that they were aware of the fraud, had intentionally failed to enforce laws, and hurried to certify Stinson the winner in order to bury the story. The narrative recalls the Washington Post’s revelation that Republican Mitch McConnell was aware of the CIA’s conclusion that Russians had intervened and opted to do nothing.
In February 1994, after Stinson had already taken office, a federal judge ordered he “be removed from his State Senate office and that [his opponent, Bruce Marks] be certified the winner within 72 hours.”
Stinson appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, but ultimately, this was the first known case in which a federal judge reversed an election outcome. In January 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the ruling to stand.
We're getting into dangerous waters.