US President Donald Trump on Friday lost a lawsuit in Wisconsin seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots and overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in Battlefield State, the latest in a string of legal defeats.
Reserve Judge Stephen Simanek spoke out against all the arguments Trump challenged in the polls in the state’s two largest counties, saying the election was properly administered and there was no had wrongdoing as the president alleged.
“The bottom line here is that the court must do everything to ensure that the will of the voters prevails,” the judge said.
Trump plans to quickly appeal the decision to the Tory-controlled Supreme Court of Wisconsin, even if his chances there seem slim. Trump also has a federal trial in Wisconsin where the judge could rule as early as Friday.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court had previously refused to hear Trump’s state case before going to lower courts. A majority of judges have also openly questioned whether disqualifying the ballots, as Trump wishes, would be appropriate.
Trump has urged lower court judges to rule on the cases quickly so that they can file appeals before the constituency meets on Monday and casts Wisconsin’s 10 votes for Biden. This created the possibility of a rare weekend ruling from the state Supreme Court.
Biden won Wisconsin by about 20,600 votes, a 0.6% margin that withstood a recount requested by Trump in the state’s two largest counties, Milwaukee and Dane. Trump did not contest any votes cast in the counties he won.
Trump wanted to disqualify mail-in ballots cast early and in person, saying there was no proper written request for the ballots; postal votes for people claiming “indefinite detention” status; absentee ballots collected by Madison Parks election officers; and postal ballots where the clerks filled in the missing information on the ballot envelopes.
Trump’s attorney Jim Troupis argued that Milwaukee and Dane county clerks were wrong to rely on the advice of the Wisconsin Election Commission on postal votes. He argued that the guidelines, some of which had been in place for years or had been changed in response to the coronavirus pandemic to make it easier for people in indefinite detention to vote, were at odds with state law.
Biden’s attorney, John Devaney, argued that everyone who voted in the presidential election did so “in full compliance with the laws in effect at the time of the election.” There is no evidence of fraud or illegal activity, he said. Devaney also said Trump “cynically” targeted ballots cast in Wisconsin’s two most urban non-white counties for disqualification.
Devaney noted that no one challenged the laws that were in place prior to this election, including Trump when he won the state in 2016.
The judge agreed with Biden’s attorneys that Wisconsin law was followed in the election and recount.
Trump and his allies have suffered a string of defeats in Wisconsin and across the country in lawsuits that rely on unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud and abuse. A Trump-appointed federal judge in Wisconsin said Thursday the president’s trial was “unbelievable,” “bizarre” and “very strange,” and that quashing the results would be “the most remarkable decision in the history of this court or federal justice. . “
U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig has promised to deliver his ruling on Friday.
Also on Friday, the Republican-controlled committees of the state legislature held an invitation-only public hearing to accept testimony on the election. Republicans called on most Tory supporters to speak, including a radio host from Milwaukee, but not the top state election official or the chief electoral officer in the city or county of Milwaukee. Democrats called the hearing a farce and stopped participating after about three hours of testimony.
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