5 December 2020 | 7:41 AM
MADISON, WIS. (AP) – A judge who heard President Donald Trump’s federal lawsuit aimed at overthrowing Democrat Joe Biden’s Wisconsin victory said on Friday that the president’s request to “refer back” the matter to GOP-controlled legislation would have new voters to select “bizarre”. “
The federal case is one of two that Trump put forward in Wisconsin with similar arguments. He filed another petition to the state court, which the Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to hear on Thursday before going through the lower courts for the first time.
A hearing for both lawsuits was scheduled for Thursday, with judges stressing the importance of settling legal battles before the election panel met on 14 December.
Trump, who claims hundreds of thousands of absences filed under state guidelines were illegal, wants a federal judge to give the Republican-controlled legislature power to decide who won the election.
“This is a very remarkable request for a statement of relief,” U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig said during a conference call to set deadlines and a date for the hearing. Ludwig, who said it was “obviously an unusual case,” also questioned whether a federal court should consider it at all.
“It’s very, very hard to see why this can be justified in federal court,” said Ludwig, Trump’s appointee. “The request to refer the matter back to the legislature seems almost strange.”
The judge questioned why Trump does not go directly to the legislature if he wants legislators to be involved in nominating voters. Bill Bock, a campaign lawyer for the federal lawsuit, said Trump needed the court to rule that the election was “invalid” so the legislature could get involved. He also said the term “pre-trial detention”, which is commonly used to describe when one court sends a case to a lower court, was “helpless”.
Jim Steineke, the majority leader of the Republican Assembly, raised serious doubts this week about whether the legislature could change state voters from Biden to Trump supporters. Steineke tweeted about actor Dana Carvey, who played President George HW Bush, “I’m not going to do it.”
In a state lawsuit, Trump is seeking to exclude 221,000 ballots that he claims were cast illegally. Judge Stephen Simanek, who is hearing the case after the Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to take the case, said Friday he would decide on the bench after next week’s hearing, which is scheduled to begin hours later in federal court.
Jim Troupis, Trump’s attorney in the state lawsuit, argued that his case should set a precedent for a federal lawsuit where Troupis is not the lawyer.
“I’m not trying to put people in a difficult position,” Troupis said. – I am in a difficult position in terms of deadlines.
The Supreme Court also on Friday dismissed a trial by the Wisconsin Voters Alliance over Trump’s loss. Another filed by two other Trump allies – one in federal court and one in state court – remains. Trump has lost several lawsuits in other battlefield states as part of a long attempt to overthrow Biden’s victory. Even if it prevailed in Wisconsin, the state’s 10 voter college votes would not be enough to re-elect.
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