Federal Judge Denies Trump’s Wisconsin Election Lawsuit
Judge Brett Ludwig, who President Trump nominated, rules election followed the rule of law
A federal judge has struck down another one of President Donald Trump‘s lawsuits seeking to overturn President-elect Joe Biden‘s victory in Wisconsin, ruling Saturday that the rule of law was followed in the state’s election.
“This is an extraordinary case,” Ludwig wrote. “A sitting president who did not prevail in his bid for reelection has asked for federal court help in setting aside the popular vote based on disputed issues of election administration, issues he plainly could have raised before the vote occurred.”
“Plaintiff ‘asks that the Rule of Law be followed,'” Ludwig wrote. “It has been.”
Ludwig issued his decision Saturday afternoon while Trump’s campaign was making arguments in another lawsuit before a skeptical, sometimes adversarial Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Trump’s federal lawsuit challenged three groups of absentee voters, saying they relied on guidance from clerks and the Wisconsin Elections Commission that was inconsistent with state law.
Trump’s campaign argued that guidance had “likely” tainted more than 50,000 ballots, asking Ludwig to declare the entire election unconstitutional, sending the case back to the Wisconsin Legislature to pick its own presidential electors.
In a hearing for the federal case Friday, Ludwig said he found it “incredible” that Trump had waited to challenge the absentee voting procedures until after the election, adding that the remedy Trump was asking of the court was “probably the most remarkable ruling in the history of this court or the federal judiciary.”
On Saturday, Ludwig made clear that he did not believe Trump had met the threshold for taking such an unprecedented step.
“Because plaintiff has failed to show a clear departure from the Wisconsin Legislature’s directives, his complaint must be dismissed,” Ludwig said. “There has been no violation of the Constitution.”
Trump’s federal lawsuit challenged Wisconsin Election Commission guidance that clerks should fill in missing address information for people who witness absentee ballots. Ludwig noted that this policy had been in place since 2016.
“This has been the unchallenged guidance on the issue for more than four years,” Ludwig wrote.
The president’s lawsuit also argued the commission’s guidelines led to too many absentee voters claiming that they were “indefinitely confined,” which lets them submit an absentee ballot application without providing a photo ID first.
Trump also argued that the absentee ballot drop boxes used by many Wisconsin communities were illegal.
Ludwig rejected those arguments.
“The record does not show any significant departure from the legislative scheme during Wisconsin’s 2020 Presidential election,” Ludwig wrote. “The Court finds these issues do not remotely rise to the level of a material or significant departure from Wisconsin Legislature’s plan for choosing Presidential Electors.”
Trump could potentially appeal Ludwig’s ruling the U.S. Supreme Court.
Saturday’s ruling was just the latest legal setback for Trump in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has already rejected two lawsuits, one filed by Chippewa Falls attorney Karen Mueller, the other filed by The Thomas More Society, a conservative law firm based in Chicago, on behalf of a group called the “Wisconsin Voters Alliance.”
The Wisconsin Supreme Court also denied Trump’s first attempt at his state lawsuit, ruling 4-3 that the case must start in circuit court first.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court could issue its final ruling on the Trump campaign’s lawsuit at any time.
Federal Judge Denies Trump Lawsuit In Wisconsin was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.
- Senator Agard Statement on Senator Knodl’s Continued Relitigation of the 2020 Presidential Election - State Sen. Melissa Agard, Senate Democratic Leader - Aug 29th, 2023
- Report Calls For Criminally Charging State’s Fake Electors - Henry Redman - Dec 19th, 2022
- Vos Withdraws Subpoenas, Ends Gableman Probe - Henry Redman - Aug 30th, 2022
- Judge Blasts Gableman Probe, Deleted Records - Henry Redman - Aug 17th, 2022
- Vos Fires Gableman, Ends Election Probe - Shawn Johnson - Aug 14th, 2022
- Judge Orders Gableman To Pay $163,000 In Legal Fees - Rich Kremer - Aug 2nd, 2022
- Prosecute 2020 Fake Electors, Advocates Demand - Erik Gunn - Aug 1st, 2022
- Trump Calls For Nullification of Wisconsin’s 2020 Election - Henry Redman - Jul 12th, 2022
- Legal Fight Over Gableman Probe Keeps Growing - Shawn Johnson - Jun 30th, 2022
- Back In the News: Fake Elector Scheme Dogs Ron Johnson - Bruce Murphy - Jun 28th, 2022
Read more about 2020 General Election here
- Op Ed: Hold Wisconsin’s Fraudulent Electors Accountable - Jeffrey Mandell - Jan 6th, 2022
- Data Wonk: How Fox Spread Lies About State’s Election - Bruce Thompson - Mar 31st, 2021
- ‘Kraken’ Lawsuits Not Based on Facts - Graham Kilmer - Mar 23rd, 2021
- Supreme Court Brushes Off Trump Election Challenge - Graham Kilmer - Mar 8th, 2021
- U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Wisconsin ‘Kraken’ Suit - Graham Kilmer - Mar 1st, 2021
- Data Wonk: High Court Minority Embarrasses Itself - Bruce Thompson - Feb 24th, 2021
- Supreme Court Denies Trump’s Wisconsin Election Lawsuit - Graham Kilmer - Feb 22nd, 2021
- Data Wonk: With Donald Trump It’s Never Over - Bruce Thompson - Feb 17th, 2021
- Federal Judge Tears Apart Election Lawsuit - Graham Kilmer - Jan 4th, 2021
- Op Ed: Hagedorn Wisconsin’s Person of The Year - John Torinus - Dec 30th, 2020
Read more about Trump's Election Lawsuits here