Trump campaign suffers another legal setback in Wisconsin case
President Donald Trump's ineffective offer to convince the courts to overturn his election defeat last month suffered another defeat on Christmas Eve when a federal appeals court tried his attempt to challenge President-elect Joe Biden's victory in Wisconsin by nearly 21,000 votes, refused.
A three-judge panel of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected the arguments of Trump's attorneys that the Wisconsin Election Commission violated the U.S. Constitution through steps sparked by the coronavirus pandemic , including easing the requirements for identifying photos and allowing the use of Dropboxes to collect postal votes.
The appeals court judges who ruled against Trump on Thursday were all Republican candidates. The draftsman for the court opinion, Judge Michael Scudder, was appointed by Trump.
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Scudder said the election changes were not significant enough to violate a constitutional provision that state lawmakers determine the manner in which presidential elections are selected. He also accused Trump of contesting these provisions after the election, not before.
“The President had a full opportunity prior to the election to discuss the challenges to Wisconsin law that underlie his current claims. Having missed this opportunity, now that the election results have been confirmed as final, he cannot attempt to face these challenges, ”wrote Scudder. "All of this is particularly so because long before the election the Commission announced the guidelines that he is now questioning."
The Federal Court of Appeals stated that it was not its task to enforce the details of state law, but to ensure that the basic scheme approved by the state legislature was adhered to.
“Whatever the Commission has done here, it has acted under the color of authority expressly granted to it by the legislature. And that authority is not undermined by allegations that the Commission made a mistake in exercising it, ”wrote Scudder.
The president's legal defeat on Thursday in the appeals court came when the US Supreme Court fell silent on Trump's recent offer to get judges to face a similar challenge in Pennsylvania. Trump's attorneys had asked the Supreme Court to order Keystone State officials to respond by noon Wednesday, but the court took no action as Americans prepared for the long weekend vacation.
The Republicans were dismissed by a Georgia court Thursday afternoon for attempting to tighten dropboxing restrictions and improve access for election observers in connection with the January 5 Senate runoff election.
At the end of a 90-minute hearing on Zoom, Fulton County Supreme Court Justice Kimberly Esmond Adams dismissed the Georgia National Committee and GOP lawsuit.
"This court does not have jurisdiction to hear because of sovereign immunity," said Adams, referring to a principle of law that limits many claims against the state and federal government to cases where they are specifically allowed by law.
During the session, the state’s oldest elected attorney appeared to be optimizing the GOP for hiring an outside state law firm to handle the case.
"I understand she is from Florida and is a little unfamiliar with the law," Assistant Attorney General Russell Willard said after a presentation from a Florida-based attorney hired by the GOP.
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