For the fourth time in a week, a court has thrown out a lawsuit that sought to flip Wisconsin’s electoral votes from President-elect Joe Biden to President Donald Trump.
In the latest case, U.S. District Judge Pamela Pepper late Wednesday declined to change the results of the election that Biden won by about 21,000 votes.
“This court’s authority to grant relief is confined by the limits of the Constitution. Granting the relief the plaintiff requests would take the court far outside those limits, and outside the limits of its oath to uphold and (defend) the Constitution,” wrote Pepper, who was nominated to the bench by former President Barack Obama.
The lawsuit was brought by William Feehan, the chairman of the La Crosse County Republican Party. He is represented by Sidney Powell, who was recently ousted from Trump’s legal team.
In the lawsuit, Feehan and Powell contended deceased former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had a hand in voting machines used in Wisconsin and around the country that they claim were likely hacked by Iran and China. They have not provided the public with the names of the sources making these claims, and have given one of them the code name Spider.
Pepper determined Feehan didn’t have legal standing to bring his lawsuit and had brought it against officials and entities who couldn’t be sued.
“Federal judges do not appoint the president in this country,” Pepper wrote. “One wonders why the plaintiffs came to federal court and asked a federal judge to do so. After a week of sometimes odd and often harried litigation, the court is no closer to answering the ‘why.’ But this federal court has no authority or jurisdiction to grant the relief the remaining plaintiff seeks. The court will dismiss the case.”
Powell quickly appealed Thursday’s decision to the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Time is running short for her because the Electoral College meets on Monday.
The lawsuit is one of many Powell has filed across the country that she has referred to as her Kraken litigation, referring to a mythical sea monster featured in the film “Clash of the Titans.” She has faced repeated setbacks from judges.
Her Wisconsin lawsuit was littered with other procedural mistakes and filing errors, Pepper noted. At one stage, Feehan had asked to seize video footage of the vote counting at the TCF Center, which is in Detroit, more than 300 miles from Wisconsin.
When Powell filed the lawsuit last week, she said she was submitting it on behalf of Feehan and Derrick Van Orden, a Republican who narrowly lost to Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of La Crosse. But Van Orden said he never agreed to participate in the case and Powell later refiled the lawsuit without his name on it.
Last week, the state Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit filed by Trump and two others filed by his supporters.
Two other cases filed by Trump over Wisconsin’s results are pending, one in state court and one in federal court.
Contact Patrick Marley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @patrickdmarley.