Wisconsin Election Heads to Court

News: Campaign 2020US News
by Joseph Enders  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  December 9, 2020   

Election laws disregarded

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MADISON, Wis. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Wisconsin, along with 3 other swing states, is being sued by the state of Texas.

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Attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton

Late Monday, the attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, filed suit with the U.S. Supreme Court over irregularities in the 2020 presidential election. The lawsuit argues Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania violated the Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Art. II, § 1, cl. 2), alleging they made changes to voting rules through executive order and judicial fiat. This comes despite the power to conduct elections being granted to state legislatures.

In part, the lawsuit alleges that defendant states:

  • Flooded their citizens with tens of millions of ballot applications
  • Illegally deployed ballot dropboxes in certain locations
  • Used the pandemic as justification for ignoring absentee and mail-in voting laws 
  • Failed to adhere to proper procedures during vote tabulation (e.g., banning poll observers)

Texas is asking the court to answer a crucial constitutional question regarding a contested election: "Did the defendant states violate the Electors Clause by taking non-legislative actions to change the election rules that would govern the appointment of presidential electors?"

If the court agrees the Electors Clause was violated, Texas is asking the court to strike the defendant states' electoral votes from the final count. This would leave neither candidate with the required 270 electoral votes to win the presidency, thereby imparting "contested" status to the election.

From there, the U.S. House of Representatives will elect the president under the 12th Amendment of the Constitution, with each state congressional delegation having only one vote. Currently, there are 26 Republican delegations and only 23 Democrat ones, meaning the winner would likely be Trump in this scenario. 

According to the suit, the officials committed several violations.

The case was added to the Supreme Court's official docket last night.

Team Trump has its own legal plan as well. Last week, attorneys filed their latest federal lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), the county clerks in Milwaukee and Dane counties, the Milwaukee Elections Commission chief, Wisconsin's secretary of state, the governor of Wisconsin and a slew of other Wisconsin officials and city mayors who had a role in the 2020 election.

According to the suit, the officials committed several violations, including:

  • Using unmanned absentee ballot boxes (which is not permitted anywhere in the Wisconsin state election code)
  • WEC officials advising municipal clerks to alter addresses on incomplete absentee ballots, which is illegal under Wis. Stat. § 6.87(9)
  • Processing ballots despite lack of observation by poll-watchers, which is illegal under Wis. Stat. § 9.01(1)(b)(11) 
  • County clerks proffering advice leading to widespread violation of state voter-identification law, which is proscribed under the 2011 "Wisconsin Act 23"

The officials are being sued for violating the civil rights of Wisconsin voters under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The lawsuit then outlines the state legislature's power to administer elections under Art. I, § 4, cl. 2 and asserts they also hold the power to appoint the state's electors under Art. II, § 1, cl. 4.

The first hearing is set for Thursday.

Trump's Wisconsin Strategy

This lawsuit matters, because it's paired with another state-level suit alleging numerous legal violations previously reported by Church Militant. The pair of lawsuits act as a one-two knockout punch.


 

The Trump team's plan for its state-level recount appeal to Wisconsin's federal court is to prove state law was violated. Then, the plan is to convince the federal court to order that the state's 10 electors — part of the Electoral College — are to be chosen by the state legislature, whose authority to direct the election was allegedly usurped by state officials through various violations of state election law. 

The Trump team's plan is to prove to Wisconsin's Supreme Court that state law was violated.

If the appeal on the state level succeeds, the chances of Republican electors being chosen is very high. A victory would make Wisconsin the first domino to fall in Trump's favor. The other path is to have the court throw out the controverted ballots, giving Trump the state's electors. However, this path is no magic bullet according to the chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Patience Roggensack, who said a court victory may not change the election result.

The hearing for the state suit is scheduled for either Thursday or Friday, depending on the length of the federal lawsuit's hearing.

Sidney Powell's Lawsuit

But team Trump isn't the only one filing lawsuits in Wisconsin. There are two lawsuits filed by other individuals as well — one at the state level and another at the federal level. The federal lawsuit was filed last week by Gen. Mike Flynn's former attorney, Sidney Powell, who objects to the counting of nearly 150,000 illegal ballots.

Powell's lawsuit alleges:

  • 15,000 ballots were lost
  • 18,000 absentee ballots were sent out without an application
  • 7,000 ballots were cast by out-of-state voters
  • 96,000 voters circumvented voter identification laws by falsely claiming "indefinite confinement"
  • Biden overperformed by 3–6% in counties using Dominion voting software

On the basis of her factual allegations, Powell is asking the federal district court to block certification of the final vote tallies. Yesterday, Judge Pamela Pepper declined to hear the case. There has been no word as to whether Powell plans to appeal her suit.

The Rush to Certify

A final issue, one unrelated to the three lawsuits, pertains to the certification of the state's vote. 

Yesterday, Republican Commissioner Dean Knudson filed a formal complaint against Gov. Tony Evers for certifying the vote before time was allowed for recounts and appeals to be completed. 

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WEC Chairman Ann Jacobs

Because of this, it's unclear if the certification is now official. WEC Chairman Ann Jacobs took it upon herself to certify the final vote tallies without permission from the rest of the bipartisan commission. She then immediately sent the signed document to the governor for his signature, whereafter he officially certified Biden as the winner. 

Jacobs did this despite Republican election commissioners' requests to hold off on certification of the election results until the completion of an audit on the state's voting machines.

Her fellow commissioners allege that, by such actions, Jacobs violated Wis. Stat. § 7.70(5)(b), which gives the entire commission the power to issue certificates of election, as opposed to the chairman alone. During a Monday WEC meeting, Knudson and another Republican commissioner, Robert Spindell, pointed this out, where Knudsen called for Jacobs' resignation. As it stands, the declared certification remains in question.

Regardless, electors must be sent to vote by Dec. 14, and courts are tasked with determining whether the WEC, state legislators or Wisconsin's U.S. House delegation will decide whom the state will elect to the presidency.

This confirms Church Militant's early prediction that the presidential election results in Wisconsin would be settled in the courtroom. With Biden only holding a 20,000 vote lead, a reversal is still in the cards if any of these legal challenges are successful.

Watch Church Militant's Exclusive Interview with Wisconsin Elections Commissioner Bob Spindell.

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