The Wisconsin Supreme Court has turned down President Trump’s request to immediately hear arguments for throwing out more than 200,000 absentee ballots from largely Democratic jurisdictions—forcing the campaign to take the more tortuous route through lower courts.
The lame-duck president had taken his fight to junk the Milwaukee and Madison postal votes straight to the Badger State’s highest bench, hoping its conservative majority would find in his favor. But four of the seven justices, despite signaling they might be receptive later to arguments that ballots were improperly submitted and counted, asserted Thursday he must file his suit in county-level courts first.
The Trump campaign announced it intended to pursue that direction immediately. On Monday, Wisconsin certified its 10 electors for President-elect Joe Biden, who carried the state by more than 20,000 votes. On Wednesday, Trump filed a separate action to overturn the state’s results in federal court. Even in the unlikely event the outgoing president’s suits succeed, Biden would still have sufficient votes in the Electoral College to become commander-in-chief next year.