By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was a defeat in federal court for the Pennsylvania Republican Party and its bid to change the way polling places are scrutinized on Election Day.

Ruling the state GOP’s request is “not in the public interest,” Eastern District Court Judge Gerald Pappert rejected the lawsuit that would have allowed poll watchers to serve anywhere — not just in the county where they’re registered to vote.

In the ruling, Pappert says intervention this close to an election “risks disruption” and “confusion.”

He notes the suit set off a “harried process” — a “judicial fire drill” without “reasonable explanation or justification.”

And, he writes, the Republican plaintiffs were unable to show the Pennsylvania law geographically restricting poll watchers “burdens their fundamental right to vote.”

The state GOP had argued the rules were “illegal” and “arbitrary.” Donald Trump has called on supporters to monitor the voting on Tuesday.

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