Graham Kilmer

Supreme Court Won’t Hear Lawsuit to Overturn Election

Petitioners had insufficient evidence to go before the court. And sought disenfranchisement of every Wisconsin voter.

By - Dec 4th, 2020 06:34 pm

The Wisconsin Supreme Court once again narrowly voted not to take up a suit that sought to change the results of the presidential election.

This time, the court voted 4-3 not to grant an original action — litigation before the supreme court — to a lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin Voters Alliance against the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

This is the third lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump‘s campaign or his allies that has been rejected by the court.

Justice Brian Hagedorn, authoring the concurring opinion, writes that “some of the legal issues” might be subject for judicial consideration under different circumstances. “But the real stunner here is the sought-after remedy. We are invited to invalidate the entire presidential election in Wisconsin by declaring it “null”—yes, the whole thing.”

“And there’s more,” he writes. “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.”

As Urban Milwaukee reported, the suit is challenging 156,807 votes in the state. The plaintiffs alleged that among them were illegal votes, and legal votes not yet counted.

Attorneys Erick Kaardal, special counsel to Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society and Gregory M. Erickson filed the petition on behalf of the plaintiffs. Kaardal was a member of the legal team that unsuccessfully tried to get Kanye West on the ballot in Wisconsin.

In his concurring opinion, Hagedorn, noting that the petitioners were asking the state throw out the results of the election and have the state legislature choose the electors, wrote, “At least no one can accuse the petitioners of timidity.” Adding, “Such a move would appear to be unprecedented in American history.”

Hagedorn went on, “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. 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.”

He wrote that the petition relied on disputed claims, and the Supreme Court was not a fact finding body. “In other words, we couldn’t just accept one side’s description of the facts or one side’s expert report even if we were inclined to believe them.”

He said the petition falls short of the “compelling evidence” and “legal support” needed for “the court-ordered disenfranchisement of every Wisconsin voter.” This specific relief sought by the petitioners, Hagedorn wrote, was “sobering.”

He called it the “most dramatic invocation of judicial power I have ever seen.” And wrote, “Judicial acquiescence to such entreaties built on so flimsy a foundation would do indelible damage to every future election.”

Hagedorn wrote that the “rough and tumble world of electoral politics” could not be the lens through which the court reviews the petition. “In these hallowed halls, the law must rule.”

In her dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Patience Roggensack wrote “ Justice Hagedorn has the cart before the horse in regard to our consideration of this petition for an original action. We grant petitions to exercise our jurisdiction based on whether the legal issues presented are of state wide concern, not based on the remedies requested.”

She went on, “Granting a petition does not carry with it the court’s view that the remedy sought is appropriate for the legal issues raised.”

“As I said as I began, it is critical that voting in Wisconsin elections not only be fair, but that the public also perceives voting as having been fairly conducted,” Roggensack wrote. “The Wisconsin Supreme Court should not walk away from its constitutional obligation to the people of Wisconsin for a third time.”

Lawsuits

Having trouble keeping them all straight? Cases are listed in the order filed.

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More about the 2020 General Election

Read more about 2020 General Election here

More about the Trump's Election Lawsuits

Read more about Trump's Election Lawsuits here

Categories: Politics, Weekly

2 thoughts on “Supreme Court Won’t Hear Lawsuit to Overturn Election”

  1. steenwyr says:

    Roggensack justifying things the way she does is akin to Susan Collins’ impeachment vote. No matter how fancy they sound, you just can’t trust that they’ll rule with the same level head.

    Why does this original action thing even exist?

    Good on Hagedorn for not towing the line.

  2. tornado75 says:

    so if i understand roggensack correctly, she would like the court to hear all petitions regardless of their efficacy or the sense of them. a nice waste of time and money and in this case, their is no obligation to the wisconsin people. oh i misspoke. the obligation to the wisconsin people is for the court to be judicial, rational, and not get sucked in to hearing petitions that make no sense.

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