Judge Brett Ludwig, a Trump appointee, notes the president filed no complaints about the system prior to Election Day—which he lost.
A federal judge said late Thursday he would rule within the next couple days on a lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump in a last-ditch effort to overturn the election in Wisconsin, though his closing remarks made clear he has many doubts about the president’s claims.
The lawsuit seeks to invalidate every single one of the more than 3.2 million votes cast and grant the Republican-led Legislature the ability to choose the winner, a request at odds with state law.
“If that relief were granted, this would be a most remarkable proceeding and probably the most remarkable ruling in the history of this court or the federal judiciary,” said Judge Brett Ludwig, a Trump appointee to Wisconsin’s federal Eastern District Court.
Trump, who lost Wisconsin to President-elect Joe Biden by about 20,500 votes, blatantly lied in the lawsuit that hundreds of thousands of votes were illegally cast in the state.
Ludwig criticized Trump’s attorneys and pointed out “there was no attempt prior to the election” to correct any perceived issues, and Trump instead waited until a month after the election to file the legal action. Ludwig was also incredibly skeptical of Trump’s attorneys claims, signaling likely doom for yet another post-election lawsuit.
“You saying it’s significant doesn’t make it significant,” Ludwig told Trump’s legal team.
The president’s attorneys baselessly targeted absentee ballot drop boxes (which were used on a smaller scale in both the April and August elections, yet never faced a legal challenge then), voters who claimed the “indefinitely confined” status, absentee ballots cast through early voting, and the legal process of ballot “curing.”
And yet the Trump legal team is going beyond simply asking for those categories of votes to be thrown out. Trump attorney Bill Bock falsely asserted it was “a myth” that Trump wants to disenfranchise the entire state.
Jeff Mandell, an attorney for Gov. Tony Evers, called Trump’s request an “unheard-of relief that would deprive 3.3 million Wisconsinites of their fundamental right to vote.”
“The will of the electors—that is, the voters—is what matters,” Mandell said.
Wisconsin election officials have repeatedly found no fraud or significant irregularities in the Nov. 3 election. Attorney General William Barr on Dec. 1 said the Department of Justice has found no widespread throughout the rest of the nation.
“The election was secure, the results were accurate, and the commission faithfully complied with Wisconsin law,” said Colin Roth, attorney for the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
The all-day federal court hearing forced a rescheduling of a hearing for Trump’s state-level lawsuit that looks to throw out more than 220,000 votes in Milwaukee and Dane counties. Reserve Circuit Court Judge Stephen Simanek indicated last week he would rule from the bench immediately following the hearing.
Simanek’s hearing, originally scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, is now set for 9 a.m. Friday.