A Wisconsin state judge on Friday ruled against the Trump campaign’s last-ditch effort to throw out 221,000 votes in heavily Democratic Milwaukee and Dane counties and affirmed the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s 20,000-vote victory in the state.
“The court should do everything to ensure that the will of the voters prevails,” said retired Judge Stephen Simanek, who was appointed to hear the case by the conservative chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
It was the latest in a long string of legal defeats for Trump and his allies, who have now lost 56 post-election cases seeking to overturn Biden’s victory in key states—including at least four in Wisconsin.
Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to take up Trump’s efforts to invalidate Biden’s victory in the state. “Once the door is opened to judicial invalidation of presidential election results, it will be awfully hard to close that door again,” wrote conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn, who joined with the three liberal justices on the court to reject Trump’s lawsuits. “This is a dangerous path we are being asked to tread.”
The Trump campaign has filed a separate hearing in federal court, but Trump-appointed Judge Brett Ludwig sounded very skeptical of its chances of success during a hearing on Thursday. Overturning Wisconsin’s election results would be “probably the most remarkable ruling in the history of this court or the federal judiciary,” Ludwig said.
Trump’s legal defeat in Wisconsin comes as the Supreme Court is considering an unprecedented lawsuit from the president, 18 GOP attorneys general, and 106 House Republicans to nullify the election results in Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. As in Wisconsin, Trump’s bid is widely expected to fail.