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Supreme Court throws out last-ditch Trump effort to nullify 2020 election results in Wisconsin

The former president's lawyers claimed changes to Wisconsin's rules violated the Constitution

March 8, 2021 12:01pm

Updated: March 8, 2021 12:52pm

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by former President Trump's legal team to overturn his electoral loss in Wisconsin, which Trump won in 2016 but lost by more than 20,000 votes in 2022 to now-President Biden.

The court did not reveal the final vote or how each justice voted.

In his lawsuit, the Trump team argued the Wisconsin Election Commission enacted policies, such as the establishment of absentee ballot drop boxes, that illegally overrode the state legislature’s power over election rules. The former president filed the suit in late December, asking that the high court review the case before Jan. 6, when Congress was set to certify the results of the Electoral College. The court rejected that call.

"The narrow window in which legal disputes may be resolved following a presidential election weighs heavily in favor of applying the 'capable of repetition' doctrine to resolve issues capable of reoccurring," Trump's lawyers said in a Feb. 9 filing. "Otherwise, non-legislative state actors may be emboldened in future presidential elections to make even more last-minute changes to state election laws contrary to the Electors Clause than occurred in this year’s election."

Certification was interrupted for hours on Jan. 6 as pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress' certification of states' votes. Trump's incendiary rhetoric in the weeks before certification – and on  Jan. 6 – led to his second impeachment in the House, although he was acquitted in the Senate.

In the unsigned order that included no dissent, the Supreme Court justices refused to hear Trump’s lawsuit that said Wisconsin election officials violated the Constitution. That means fewer than four justices had voted to hear the case.

Trump's legal team has a dismal record in seeking to overturn the election, losing more than 60 losses and winning just one, which had no effect on a state's final vote count.

One judge ripped Trump's lawyers in November when they challenged the results in Pennsylvania, saying, "This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together."

It was the last of three petitions filed to the Supreme Court near the end of Trump’s presidency that the justices declined to consider, Reuters reported. 

Also on Monday, the high court denied a request for a writ of mandamus from attorney L. Lin Wood, who had sued Georgia officials – including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger – claiming that state officials changed rules and treated absentee voters differently from in-person voters.

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