In a firmly worded decision, Trump-appointed Judge Brett H. Ludwig who took office just three months ago rejected one of the president’s last remaining attempts to alter the results of a statewide. The decision came just a day after the Supreme Court rejected a bold decision by the state of Texas to challenge election results in Wisconsin and three other battlefield states.
Judge Ludwig’s ruling was particularly significant because after the terse Supreme Court ruling on Friday night, Mr Trump complained that courts across the country have dismissed dozens of his lawsuits over technical details and failed to give him the opportunity to fully present their legal arguments.
Judge Ludwig, however, held a day-long hearing on Thursday and still found that Mr. Trump’s claims were lacking. He dismissed the case with prejudice, which means Mr. Trump cannot send it to the same court.
“This tribunal gave the plaintiff the opportunity to present his case,” Judge Ludwig wrote, “and he lost on the merits.”
The trial in Milwaukee echoed in many ways the petition filed by Texas, which was supported by 17 Republican attorneys general and more than 100 Republican members of the House of Representatives.
Unlike other legal challenges by the president, the prosecution in Milwaukee did not allege that the voter fraud took place in Wisconsin. On the contrary, he accused a group of local and state election officials of violating state law by expanding the way postal ballots were received and processed this year in an unusual election that took place. during a pandemic.
Mr. Trump and his Republican supporters have now lost more than 50 court challenges in the election, many because judges found the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue or because their claims were moot after the States have certified the count of votes.
But breaking away from his colleagues on the bench, Judge Ludwig concluded that Mr. Trump did in fact have standing to challenge the way Wisconsin officials conducted their election. He also ruled that even though Wisconsin had certified its vote last month, the trial was not moot as the final determination of the presidential race will not take place until January 6, when Congress meets to count the votes of the Electoral College.
In his ruling, Judge Ludwig wrote that Wisconsin election officials followed state law, which clearly states that state voters should be chosen by popular vote. Although they instituted changes such as allowing drop boxes for mail-in ballots and easing restrictions on certification of ballots, the movements were not illegal, Judge Ludwig wrote, and the officials used acceptable means to implement the law.
Judge Ludwig also noted that the Trump campaign was aware of these changes months before they were implemented and should have sought to challenge them before the election, not after Mr. Trump was defeated.
“This is an extraordinary case,” Judge Ludwig wrote. “A sitting president who did not triumph in his re-election bid sought the help of the Federal Court in overturning the popular vote on the basis of contested election administration issues that he clearly could have raised before the vote.
The judgment concluded: “In his response brief, the complainant ‘calls for the rule of law to be respected’. It was.”