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Trump loses Wisconsin case while his lawyer argues another one

District judge Brett Ludwig said the US president’s arguments ‘fail as a matter of law and fact’.


President Donald Trump (AP)

President Donald Trump (AP)

President Donald Trump (AP)

US president Donald Trump has lost a federal lawsuit as part of his ongoing attempts to overturn the election.

District judge Brett Ludwig, a Trump appointee, dismissed Mr Trump’s request for the court to order the Republican-controlled legislature in Wisconsin to name him the winner, and not his Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

The judge said Mr Trump’s arguments “fail as a matter of law and fact”.


Joe Biden (Susan Walsh/AP)

Joe Biden (Susan Walsh/AP)

Joe Biden (Susan Walsh/AP)

The ruling came as Mr Trump’s attorney Jim Troupis faced a barrage of questions about his claims from both liberal and conservative justices on the Wisconsin supreme court in another lawsuit.

Liberal justices had said the legal action “smacks of racism”.

Mr Troupis had asked the court to reject more than 221,000 absentee ballots, including his own, saying they were cast fraudulently based on incorrect interpretations of the law by elections officials.

“What you want is for us to overturn this election so that your king can stay in power,” said liberal justice Jill Karofsky. “That is so un-American.”

Conservative justices appeared to be sympathetic to some issues raised by Mr Trump, but also questioned how they could fairly disqualify ballots only in the two counties where Mr Trump sought a recount and not other counties where the same procedures were followed.


The president’s lawsuit in Wisconsin has been described as ‘incredible’, ‘bizarre’ and ‘very odd’ by a Trump-appointed federal judge in the state (Evan Vucci/AP)

The president’s lawsuit in Wisconsin has been described as ‘incredible’, ‘bizarre’ and ‘very odd’ by a Trump-appointed federal judge in the state (Evan Vucci/AP)

The president’s lawsuit in Wisconsin has been described as ‘incredible’, ‘bizarre’ and ‘very odd’ by a Trump-appointed federal judge in the state (Evan Vucci/AP)

Mr Biden’s attorney John Devaney said rejecting any ballots in just those two counties would be a violation of the US constitution’s equal protection clause.

Mr Trump is challenging ballots only in Milwaukee and Dane counties, the state’s most liberal counties with the largest non-white populations.

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He is not challenging any votes in more conservative counties where he won.

“This lawsuit, Mr Troupis, smacks of racism,” justice Karofsky said. “I do not know how you can come before this court and possibly ask for a remedy that is unheard of in US history. It is not normal.”

Justice Rebecca Dallet, another liberal justice, questioned why Mr Trump did not raise his same concerns about the absentee ballot process in the 2016 election that he won in Wisconsin. Mr Troupis said Mr Trump was not an aggrieved party that year.

Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, a conservative, voiced concerns with ballots that the city of Madison collected over two weekends at parks, saying that appeared to be the same as early voting, which had not started yet.

Conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley also implied that the court must not allow for ballots to be counted if they were cast contrary to the law.

But she questioned how the court could fairly disqualify more than 28,000 ballots cast by people who said they were indefinitely confined, given that some were.

The court in March said it was up to individual voters to determine whether they were “indefinitely confined”, a designation that allowed voters to cast absentee ballots without showing a valid photo ID.

During Saturday’s arguments, other conservative justices raised concerns with allowing election officials to fill in missing information on envelopes that contain absentee ballots. And Mr Troupis, who voted that way, said that he believes his vote was cast illegally and should be discounted.

Mr Biden won Wisconsin by about 20,600 votes, a margin of 0.6% that withstood a Trump-requested recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties.

The president-elect’s attorney asked the court to rule before Monday, when Wisconsin’s 10 Electoral College votes are scheduled to be cast for Mr Biden.

Mr Trump asked for a ruling before January 6, the day US congress counts the electoral college votes.

The president and his allies have suffered dozens of defeats in Wisconsin and across the country in lawsuits that rely on unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud and election abuse.

On Friday evening, the US supreme court rejected a Texas lawsuit that sought to invalidate Mr Biden’s win by throwing out millions of votes in four battleground states, including Wisconsin.

Also Saturday, former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell asked the US supreme court to hear a federal case she lost in Wisconsin seeking to order the Republican-controlled legislature to declare Mr Trump the winner. Ms Powell has lost similar cases in Georgia and Arizona.

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