The state Supreme Court of Wisconsin refused Thursday to allow an expedited appeal of President Trump’s lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of the November 3 election, in which Democrat Joe Biden won the state’s ten electoral votes.
Trump is seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 votes cast in the state’s two most populous counties, Milwaukee and Dane (Madison), which are heavily Democratic and provided Biden a margin of 250,000 votes. Biden narrowly defeated Trump by 20,700 votes in Wisconsin.
The Trump campaign claims that absentee ballots were handled differently in the two counties than elsewhere in the state. It sought the immediate intervention of the state Supreme Court, which has a 4-3 Republican majority, in order to prevent the state’s Electoral College electors casting their votes for Biden on December 14.
Attorneys for the state Department of Justice and Democratic Governor Tony Evers argued that the law requires lower courts to review the factual claims of the Trump campaign, whose decisions and rulings can then be appealed. One Republican justice, Brian Hagedorn, joined the three Democratic justices to rule against Trump.
The Trump lawsuit challenged longstanding practices for handling absentee ballots, including correcting mistakes made by voters, which were carried out by Republican-controlled state governments for multiple elections. Trump made no objection to these election methods in 2016, when he won the state by an equally narrow margin, about 20,000 votes.
In their filings with the court, the attorneys for Governor Evers wrote: “President Trump’s (lawsuit) seeks nothing less than to overturn the will of nearly 3.3 million Wisconsin voters… It is a shocking and outrageous assault on our democracy. … He is simply trying to seize Wisconsin’s electoral votes, even though he lost the statewide election.”
Legal and legislative efforts to overturn the election results continue in all six of the states where Biden won his narrowest victories in the presidential election, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona.
In Michigan, the Republican-controlled state legislature held committee hearings Tuesday and Wednesday on the Trump campaign’s bogus claims of massive vote fraud in the city of Detroit. Trump’s principal campaign attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, testified before one such hearing Wednesday night, while right-wing protesters paraded outside and sought to block access to the hearing by media representatives.
Giuliani paraded a series of witnesses whose claims of misconduct by Detroit and Wayne County election officials had already been rejected by the courts. At one point, Giuliani was heard trying to silence his own witness, who was slurring her words and appeared incapacitated in some way, as she engaged in a loud verbal argument with a Republican legislator who found some aspect of her testimony less than credible.
The Republican leaders of the state legislature said the purpose of the hearing was to allow people to voice their concerns, but not to overturn the vote. They posted a statement on Facebook saying, “the testimony is not about changing the results of the now-certified election. It’s about doing our due diligence and listening to people who have concerns about the way our election was conducted.” But Trump’s lawyers called on the legislators to take action to award the state’s electoral votes to Trump.
Meanwhile, another Michigan lawsuit, filed by Sidney Powell, Trump’s former campaign lawyer, cited a witness who claimed electoral misdeeds in “Edison County,” including one late installment of ballots which were 100 percent for Biden, and another batch that were 99.61 percent for Biden. There is no Edison County in Michigan, or in any of the 50 states.
In Atlanta, Georgia, Powell and Lin Wood, an attorney who has represented the Trump campaign in several election suits, addressed a rally of several hundred people, demanding that Georgia’s certification of the presidential election victory of Biden be reversed. Wood, who represents Kyle Rittenhouse, the fascist gunman who murdered two protesters against police violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, called for the arrest of Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, who has refused to intervene into the vote tabulation and certification process to hijack the state’s electoral votes for Trump.
All six of the states where Trump is continuing challenges to Biden victories have now certified the results, well in advance of the December 8 deadline set by law as a “safe harbor” to ensure that all disputes over state results have been resolved before members of the Electoral College cast their ballots on December 14 in the various state capitals.
These ballots are to be formally counted on January 6, 2021 at a joint session of the US Congress. One Republican congressman, Mo Brooks of Alabama, announced Wednesday that he would formally object to the counting of the electoral votes from the six battleground states.
Brooks must enlist at least one senator to join him in the objection, which would then have to be approved in separate votes of both houses of Congress. The objection would likely fail in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. The Republicans now control the US Senate by a 50-48 margin, and their continuing majority depends on the outcome of the January 5 runoff for two Senate seats from Georgia.
In his announcement that he would formally object, Brooks repeated the baseless and fascistic claims made by President Trump in the 46-minute speech posted to his Facebook account on Wednesday afternoon.
“In my judgment, if only lawful votes by eligible American citizens were cast, Donald Trump won the Electoral College by a significant margin, and Congress’s certification should reflect that,” Brooks claimed. “This election was stolen by the socialists engaging in extraordinary voter fraud and election theft measures.”
Trump tweeted his thanks to Brooks on Thursday morning.
Brooks is one of 39 Republican congressmen who sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr this week protesting what they called “shocking inactivity” by the federal Department of Justice in relation to claims of vote fraud in the election. The letter was sent December 1, the same day that Barr told the Associated Press that the Justice Department had found no evidence of fraud substantial enough to alter the election results.
The Biden campaign has been entirely silent on Trump’s refusal to concede the election, and most congressional Democrats and their allies in the corporate media have sought to downplay the significance of Trump’s Facebook speech, although he flatly declared in the course of his 46-minute diatribe, “If we are right about the fraud, Joe Biden can’t be president.”
One of the few leading Democrats to comment on the speech, Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the senior whip of the House Democratic Caucus, claimed, “The president has painted himself into a corner. There is a divorce from reality.” He went on to dismiss Trump’s “outlandish claims” and to cite the remarks of Attorney General Barr, without making any warning about the seriousness of Trump’s attack on democracy.
Acknowledging the obvious, Raskin said, “It will be a tough thing to heal the divide in the country if people are refusing to accept the results of the election.”
Of course, Trump is not seeking to heal any divides, but rather to whip up his fascistic supporters and incite a right-wing insurrection to overturn his electoral defeat.