A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected President Donald Trump’s latest effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Wisconsin.
The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld a decision reached nearly two weeks ago by U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig in Milwaukee.
In his suit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission and others, Trump had sought to have the Republican-led Legislature, rather than voters, decide how to allocate Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes.
Ludwig — a Trump nominee — concluded Wisconsin officials had followed state laws when they conducted the Nov. 3 election.
In a unanimous ruling, the three-judge panel in Chicago “affirmed” Ludwig’s decision.
“On the merits, the district court was right to enter judgment for the defendants,” the 7th Circuit said. “We reach this conclusion in no small part because of the President’s delay in bringing the challenges to Wisconsin law that provide the foundation for the alleged constitutional violation. Even apart from the delay, the claims fail under the Electors Clause.”
Judge Michael Scudder Jr., nominated to the court by Trump, wrote the decision. The other members of the panel were Judge Joel Flaum, nominated by Gerald Ford, and Judge Ilana Rovner, nominated by Ronald Reagan.
In the case, Trump argued that some of the state’s long-standing election practices were improper, focusing on early in-person voting, absentee drop boxes and indefinitely confined voters.
“The President had a full opportunity before the election to press the very challenges to Wisconsin law underlying his present claims,” the court said. “Having foregone that opportunity, he cannot now — after the election results have been certified as final — seek to bring those challenges. All of this is especially so given that the (Wisconsin Elections) Commission announced well in advance of the election the guidance he now challenges.”
Wisconsin elections officials and Gov. Tony Evers certified President-elect Joe Bden’s win on Nov. 30 and the state Supreme Court upheld the result Dec. 14. An hour after the court ruled, Wisconsin’s electors met in Madison and cast the state’s 10 electoral votes for Biden.
The Electoral College votes will be tallied during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6. The president’s allies are pushing to challenge votes in several states, including Wisconsin. The effort is expected to fail.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be inaugurated Jan. 20.