The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Thursday affirmed a district court dismissal of a suit that sought to declare President Donald Trump the winner of the presidential election in Wisconsin.
The suit alleged that Wisconsin violated the Electors Clause of the US Constitution. The president claimed that guidance released by Wisconsin voting commissions facilitated voter fraud by allowing unmanned drop-off boxes and expanded absentee voting due to the pandemic.
The lower court had dismissed the case on the merits, citing that the time to bring suit was before the recounts and the official certification of the election.
The Seventh Circuit affirmed the decision, agreeing with the lower court’s reasoning that the lawsuit was brought too late and stating that the claims failed under the Electors Clause. On the timing issue, it cited the Supreme Court decision in Purcell v. Gonzalez, which stated that litigation should not be brought near the election, as it may sway voters away from the polls.
On the merits of an Electors Clause claim, the court found that the clause “could be read as addressing only the manner of appointing electors and thus nothing about the law that governs the administration of an election.” In this case, it said, the electors were rightfully appointed according to the process set forth by the Wisconsin Legislature.
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