The Supreme Court of Wisconsin has rejected three post-election suits already, including a case filed by outgoing President Donald Trump, but the lame duck is not done flapping before the state’s highest court.
At noon Central Time on Saturday, Trump and his exiting Vice President Mike Pence will hope that the fourth time is the charm in a lawsuit gunning after voters in Milwaukee and Dane Counties, where most of the state’s voters of color live.
In a separate lawsuit, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) denounced that tactic as a “shocking and outrageous assault on our democracy,” though it has been part of a playbook that Trump has followed in other states. Trump targeted Fulton County in Georgia, Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania, and Wayne County in Michigan. The NAACP and other civil rights group repeatedly called out this strategy against Black voters as racist, including in a recent federal court hearing in Wisconsin.
Justice Brian Hagedorn, a conservative who served as president of his school’s Federalist Society Chapter, has been particularly scathing in the past about the post-election cases that have come before the Supreme Court of Wisconsin already.
Rejecting one of Trump’s earlier cases, Hagedorn scolded the dissenters: “Following this law is not disregarding our duty, as some of my colleagues suggest. It is following the law.”
That was a ruling finding that the court did not have authority to review the outgoing president’s claims, but he went farther in dismissing the substance of the arguments in a case filed by one of Trump’s allies.
“This petition falls far short of the kind of compelling evidence and legal support we would undoubtedly need to countenance the court-ordered disenfranchisement of every Wisconsin voter,” Hagedorn told the right-wing Wisconsin Voters Alliance. “The petition does not even justify the exercise of our original jurisdiction.”
Calling the requested overthrow of the election “a real stunner,” Hagedorn wrote: “We are invited to invalidate the entire presidential election in Wisconsin by declaring it ‘null’—yes, the whole thing.”
“And there’s more,” he continued. “We should, we are told, enjoin the Wisconsin Elections Commission from certifying the election so that Wisconsin’s presidential electors can be chosen by the legislature instead, and then compel the Governor to certify those electors. At least no one can accuse the petitioners of timidity. Such a move would appear to be unprecedented in American history.”
“One might expect that this solemn request would be paired with evidence of serious errors tied to a substantial and demonstrated set of illegal votes,” the opinion states. “Instead, the evidentiary support rests almost entirely on the unsworn expert report of a former campaign employee that offers statistical estimates based on call center samples and social media research.”
Watch the Supreme Court of Wisconsin’s hearing on its YouTube page at noon Central Time.
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, for reasons unclear, are listed as defendants in the case.
[photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]
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