Attorneys Square Off in Trump’s Federal Challenge to Wisconsin’s Election
Ruling expected within 48 hours.
But even when he does, it’s not likely to settle the matter.
Ludwig, a Trump appointee to Wisconsin’s Eastern District, said his ruling would come in “the next day or two.” And at that point, another Trump challenge in a state court will have had its first hearing. The parties will argue that case on Friday starting at 9:00 a.m. Those results are also expected to be appealed.
In both cases the Trump campaign is seeking to have Wisconsin’s presidential election results thrown out. That would trigger a scenario where the Republican-controlled state Legislature would pick the state’s Electoral College delegates. The Electoral College is scheduled to meet on Monday, December 14th.
“It’s not lost on me that this is a political case, obviously, and that the relief that’s been requested, if that relief were granted, this would be a most remarkable proceeding and probably the most remarkable ruling in the history of this court or the federal judiciary,” said Ludwig before each side argued its case.
The virtual hearing for Trump’s federal case involved attorneys spending most of the morning negotiating a stipulation of proposed facts and exhibits — this document allowed both sides to avoid calling witnesses.
Then Ludwig moved the proceedings to what he said were effectively “closing arguments.”
Attorney Jeffrey Mandell, representing Governor Tony Evers, challenged that the Trump campaign’s argument of a violation of a Equal Protection Clause were invalid. “Really what the president is trying to do here turns equal protection on its head, because the Equal Protection Clause protects Wisconsin voters,” said Mandel. He said Trump was seeking retroactive relief, which would violate the 11th Amendment. And he said even if it was granted, it might not go in Trump’s favor. “This court can’t instruct the Legislature what to do.” He argued that the federal court didn’t have the authority to decide a state issue.
Assistant Attorney General Colin Roth said the state’s election was conducted correctly. ” The Wisconsin Elections Commission believes that Wisconsin’s election laws must be followed and in fact were followed,” he said, noting that the commission was made up of an equal number of members from both parties. He said drop boxes were legal and that members of the Legislature endorsed them.
Jon Greenbaum, an attorney for the NAACP, argued that the Trump campaign was trying to disenfranchise minority voters. “We’ve seen a strategy to go after the Black vote,” he said, referencing that Trump’s challenges go after large cities. “Not a single allegation, let alone evidence, that a single ineligible voter voted in this election.”
After the arguments, Ludwig issued a series of challenges to arguments made by both sides.
Bock said no challenge was made because so much was going on in all 50 states. He said issues with drop boxes only occurred in October.
“That strikes me as incredible,” said the judge.
While both parties await Ludwig’s ruling, a state case will get underway Friday morning, attorney Sidney Powell is appealing a rejection of her federal case involving Wisconsin and Trump, 18 Republican attorneys general and 106 Republican U.S. Representatives (including Wisconsin’s Tom Tiffany) want the Supreme Court of the United States to hear a challenge to Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania’s election results.
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