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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Ian Millhiser: The Supreme Court's Republican majority, in a case that is literally titled Republican National Committee v. Democratic National Committee, handed down a decision that will effectively disenfranchise tens of thousands of Wisconsin voters. It did so at the urging of the GOP.

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Don't change the rules of the election the day before the election. Evers should have called the special session immediately after the shelter in place order. By waiting until the last minute I can only assume he was trying to force the legislature into rubber stamping his recommendations. It also did not sit well that the county clerks in Milwaukee and Madison were encouraging voters to lie on their absentee ballots requests.

#1 | Posted by visitor_ at 2020-04-07 10:19 AM | Reply

We have a totally corrupt Supreme Court, that has been obvious to many of us for a pretty long time. I have zero respect for any members of the conservative majority who are actually puppets put there by the GOP. One day there will be justice and those Justices will be called out to atone for their partisan hackery.

#2 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-07 10:24 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The governor should have used public safety laws to shut down in-person voting throughout the state. If the state GOP wants to limit the election to just absentee or early voting ballots so be it. Thousands upon thousands in both parties will know that they were intentionally disenfranchised through no fault of their own.

The people of Wisconsin now fully understand the priorities of their state GOP. They can flush the toilet of as many of them as possible come November.

#3 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-07 10:29 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

What you call corrupt, I call following the law. These are unusual times but we can't throw everything out the window. The Governor should have called a special session a month ago. You can't believe the amount of confusion these last minute changes and the reversals have caused.

#4 | Posted by visitor_ at 2020-04-07 10:31 AM | Reply

I feel bad for the poll workers and voters that are risking infection.

#5 | Posted by visitor_ at 2020-04-07 10:34 AM | Reply

#5, it's okay, there are Nat. Guard members working the polls since the regular poll workers protested. Rightfully so, they protested about dangerous working conditions.

"killing in the name of"

V, I know you are a notorious troll, but doesn't a public health emergency and stay at home order trump existing election laws? Or at the very least require some flexible thinking?

#6 | Posted by ND_Perspective at 2020-04-07 10:53 AM | Reply

I don't see a good solution that won't stir up a lot of vitriol. There's too much distrust on both sides for them to work together and create a workable solution, the time for which has passed. If I had the power I would cancel the election and roll it up into a later one. Wisconsin has too many of these odd off elections that count on low turn out.

We should use this as a learning opportunity to prevent something like this happening in the national election, if not this November perhaps in the future.

#7 | Posted by visitor_ at 2020-04-07 11:12 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

V, very levelheaded. Thanks for the response.

#8 | Posted by ND_Perspective at 2020-04-07 11:32 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The governor should have used public safety laws to shut down in-person voting throughout the state

Which laws are those? He used an executive order and the GOP went crying to their Republican judges.

#9 | Posted by JOE at 2020-04-07 11:47 AM | Reply

"What you call corrupt, I call following the law."

Visitor lecturing us about the law, now that is some funny crap.

#10 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-07 11:58 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Wisconsin has too many of these odd off elections that count on low turn out."

For republicans to be able to win in those elections.

(Finished that for you.)

#11 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-04-07 12:02 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#11 | POSTED BY DONNERBOY

Was thinking exactly this when I read it.

#12 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-04-07 12:23 PM | Reply

Think about the upside down logic you guys from which you are working.

#13 | Posted by visitor_ at 2020-04-07 12:29 PM | Reply

Think about the upside down logic you guys from which you are working.
#13 | POSTED BY VISITOR

Please try that one more time, for those of us that only know English.

#14 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-04-07 12:30 PM | Reply

Which laws are those? He used an executive order and the GOP went crying to their Republican judges.

He based his order directly on the election itself with public health as the underlying rationale.

I believe that he (or whoever is the state's highest ranking health official) could have issued orders on public safety grounds that would have precluded the type of gatherings that elections demand on a one day basis without invoking the election itself as his impetus. IE. issue a state-wide public health ban on non-business related public gatherings on 4/7/20 of more than X number of people in spaces sized less than Y; or something that couldn't be struck down on political or elective grounds. The order would be based on the grounds that "outside entities" were planning on intentionally creating health conditions during a pandemic that are detrimental to the welfare of Wisconsin's residents and the order was to protect the citizens.

But again, just spit-ballin' here.

#15 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-07 12:38 PM | Reply

I stand by my statement it makes as much sense as saying Republicans want to suppress voting and they don't want low turn out elections because they can't win them.

#16 | Posted by visitor_ at 2020-04-07 12:42 PM | Reply

makes as much sense as saying Republicans want to suppress voting and they don't want low turn out elections because they can't win them.
#16 | POSTED BY VISITOR_

Take it up with the POTUS:

Responding to a series of proposals, linked to the coronavirus situation, to make it easier for Americans to vote. Early, absentee or by mail Trump said:

"The things they had in there were crazy," Trump said. "They had things " levels of voting that, if you ever agreed to it, you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again."

This seems to be another example of Trump saying the quiet part out loud again. This link, from Minnesota native Aaron Blake, now of the Washington Post, lays it out. Trump understands that making it easier to vote is bad for Republicans. But, unlike most Republicans who hide behind various arguments that things that make it easier to vote will lead to voter fraud, Trump adorably admits the open secret: Republicans rely on lower turnout to win. Making it easier to vote, which should, in some fantasy world where democracy is more important than partisan advantage be a good thing, is bad for Republicans

www.minnpost.com

#17 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-04-07 12:49 PM | Reply

This is not going well:

The city of Milwaukee, with a total population near 600,000, had just five polling places open on Tuesday, compared to about 180 during normal times.

#18 | Posted by visitor_ at 2020-04-07 12:55 PM | Reply

He based his order directly on the election itself with public health as the underlying rationale.
I believe that he (or whoever is the state's highest ranking health official) could have issued orders on public safety grounds that would have precluded the type of gatherings that elections demand on a one day basis without invoking the election itself as his impetus

He cited public health extensively in his order. If there were a law in place that allowed him to do what he did, he would have used it. There isn't, and Republicans were too morally bankrupt to pass one.

#19 | Posted by JOE at 2020-04-07 01:01 PM | Reply

The city of Milwaukee, with a total population near 600,000, had just five polling places open on Tuesday, compared to about 180 during normal times.

This was known to be the case last week. And Republicans punted on the special session called by the Governor on Saturday, with full knowledge that this would be the result.

#20 | Posted by JOE at 2020-04-07 01:02 PM | Reply

Personally, I luckily got my absentee ballot in time and dropped it off yesterday. But i know two other people who requested absentee ballots and never got them. They, and thousands of others across the state, are being deprived of the right to vote by Republican politicians and Republican judges.

#21 | Posted by JOE at 2020-04-07 01:03 PM | Reply

If there were a law in place that allowed him to do what he did, he would have used it. There isn't,

Yes there is. It's the same authority given to a fire marshall's orders as matters of public safety.

I specifically said that any order could not be tied to the election itself, it has to be tied to the places that elections are being held.

#22 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-07 01:06 PM | Reply

Cite it. The Governor has career lawyers at his disposal. Do you really think this exists and they failed to use it?

#23 | Posted by JOE at 2020-04-07 01:07 PM | Reply

Cite it. The Governor has career lawyers at his disposal. Do you really think this exists and they failed to use it?

We're talking about Wisconsin.....

#24 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-07 01:08 PM | Reply

In WI, it isn't the fire marshall's office, it's this one: Department of Safety and Professional Services.

I really don't care too much about something that didn't happen. But all the governor needed was something that couldn't be overruled in one day.

Maybe my idea could have worked, maybe not. It is what it is.

#25 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-07 01:11 PM | Reply

What is that supposed to mean?

#26 | Posted by JOE at 2020-04-07 01:11 PM | Reply

all the governor needed was something that couldn't be overruled in one day.

With a 5-2 Republican majority in the state Supreme Court, that "something" literally doesn't exist.

#27 | Posted by JOE at 2020-04-07 01:12 PM | Reply

'One of the Most Brazen Acts of Voter Suppression in Modern Times' as US Supreme Court Blocks Absentee Ballot Extension in Wisconsin. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warned in a scathing dissent that the right-wing majority's ruling "will result in massive disenfranchisement."
www.commondreams.org

#28 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-04-07 01:17 PM | Reply

This is precisely why Gang Rape Kavanaugh was installed.

#29 | Posted by reinheitsgebot at 2020-04-07 01:22 PM | Reply

Joe,

The governor and the Department of Safety and Professional Services have to have some statutory charge that allows them to issue edicts regarding the physical protection and safety of Wisconsin citizens.

Every move they tried was related to the election. All I'm saying is that I see no evidence that they tried to shut down the buildings, not the election itself.

#30 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-07 01:23 PM | Reply

Anyone see what happened to States Rights Republicans?

They were here just a minute ago.......

#31 | Posted by Corky at 2020-04-07 01:25 PM | Reply

The governor and the Department of Safety and Professional Services have to have some statutory charge that allows them to issue edicts regarding the physical protection and safety of Wisconsin citizens.

I'd love to see what it is and how it's worded, if it even does exist. I find it incredibly difficult to believe that they had such an option at their disposal and declined to use it, even if just in the alternative to the manner in which they did proceed.

Fact of the matter is the Governor stated that there was no such legislation and that's precisely why he scheduled a special legislative session for Saturday, which the gerrymandered Republican "majority" opened and closed in 17 seconds.

#32 | Posted by JOE at 2020-04-07 01:37 PM | Reply

I'd love to see what it is and how it's worded, if it even does exist.

"252.02(3)(3)The department may close schools and forbid public gatherings in schools, churches, and other places to control outbreaks and epidemics." law.justia.com

I have no clue how courts have interpreted the statute.

#33 | Posted by et_al at 2020-04-07 02:25 PM | Reply

Thanks et_al.

#34 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-07 02:32 PM | Reply

How times have changed, when letting elections go as planned is the best way to suppress the vote!

#35 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-07 02:34 PM | Reply

We keep talking about how it is dangerous to vote.

We need to focus on it becoming a literal impossibility to vote as polling stations are closed and poll workers are staying home in droves.

#36 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-04-07 02:35 PM | Reply

By the way...

The 14th Amendment covered this.

The 14th Amendment allows Congress to reduce a state's representation IF it disenfranchises voters.

It's about time it was used.

#37 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-04-07 02:36 PM | Reply

Follow up, apparently WI has no statutes specifically related to elections emergencies.

"Contingency Planning and Election System Security Report: There are no statutes, but the state election board created a report advising local authorities on how to respond to emergencies and security threats." www.ncsl.org

#38 | Posted by et_al at 2020-04-07 02:39 PM | Reply

Follow up, apparently WI has no statutes specifically related to elections emergencies.

"Contingency Planning and Election System Security Report: There are no statutes, but the state election board created a report advising local authorities on how to respond to emergencies and security threats." www.ncsl.org

#39 | Posted by et_al at 2020-04-07 02:39 PM | Reply

Is anyone really surprised that this Laboratory of Democracy has failed to even try to develop a vaccine for voter suppression?

#40 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-07 02:44 PM | Reply

#36 and 37

See, the federal trial court's invitation at footnote 3 of his order.

3 The court will reserve on the question as to whether the actual voter turnout, ability to vote on election day or overall conduct of the election and counting votes timely has undermined citizens' right to vote.
www.democracydocket.com

#41 | Posted by et_al at 2020-04-07 02:45 PM | Reply

If the county clerks in the two largest counties hadn't been advising people to lie on their absentee ballot requests (to avoid the voter id law), the legislature may have been more open to his request.

#42 | Posted by visitor_ at 2020-04-07 02:46 PM | Reply

What you call corrupt, I call following the law. These are unusual times but we can't throw everything out the window. The Governor should have called a special session a month ago. You can't believe the amount of confusion these last minute changes and the reversals have caused.

#4 | POSTED BY VISITOR_

Yes, they are unusual times which is why the unusual measure of postponing the voting was warranted.

#43 | Posted by jpw at 2020-04-07 03:05 PM | Reply

What you call corrupt, I call following the law.
#4 | POSTED BY VISITOR_

^
"Just Following Orders"
Signed,
Visitor_

#44 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-07 03:33 PM | Reply

Has anyone ever seen Visitor and Skeletor together in the same room? I think not.

#45 | Posted by Corky at 2020-04-07 03:45 PM | Reply

252.02(3)(3)The department may close schools and forbid public gatherings in schools, churches, and other places to control outbreaks and epidemics

Thanks for posting that, et_al. I think the term "other places" is sufficiently broad that the Governor and his administration could (and should) have closed polling places in reliance on this statute. I retract my posts directed at Tony.

#46 | Posted by JOE at 2020-04-07 04:00 PM | Reply

I will, however, stand by my argument that the 5-2 conservative state supreme court (4-2 after the candidate for reelection recused) would still have nullified any attempt to do so, but the attempt should have been made regardless.

#47 | Posted by JOE at 2020-04-07 04:01 PM | Reply

I retract my posts directed at Tony.

No need to Joe. I just figured that some types of public health/safety statutes existed that would have allowed the places voting takes place to be regulated even if the election itself could not be due to the courts.

In my uneducated opinion, the courts would have no visible grounds to overturn public safety laws for the sake of an election. Hell, public safety officials might have been able to visit the overcrowded polling sites today and closed them down under the authority granted for pandemics.

What grounds would an appellate court have to overrule a legislative fiat put in place to keep the public safe under these precise circumstances?

#48 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-07 04:25 PM | Reply

the courts would have no visible grounds to overturn public safety laws for the sake of an election

I think the GOP lawyers would have cobbled together a barely defensible argument that polling places were not within the realm of "other places" contemplated by the statute, and/or that the state elections code has specific rules that override the generic language in 252.02. And that the Republican judges would have adopted that argument.

I don't think you've witnessed how shameless this state's supreme court justices really are. Some of the rulings they've handed down are legally indefensible.

#49 | Posted by joe at 2020-04-07 04:30 PM | Reply

#49

Understand, but many of the polling places apparently are in public schools, firehouses, or other government buildings. And shutting them down effectively shuts down the election, imo.

#50 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-07 04:35 PM | Reply

And shutting them down effectively shuts down the election, imo.
#50 | POSTED BY TONYROMA

Or...it further disenfranchises.

#51 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-04-07 07:44 PM | Reply

#51 That's what i was thinking. If the governor shuts buildings but the election is still legally required by statute to take place on that day, then the election happened and whatever random polling places stayed open plus absentee ballots are the only people who got to vote.

#52 | Posted by JOE at 2020-04-07 08:03 PM | Reply

Here are the only 5 voting locations today in Milwaukee, WI:

1) Hamilton High School (6215 W. Warnimont Avenue)
2) Marshall High School (4141 N. 64th Street)
3) Riverside High School (1615 E. Locust Street)
4) South Division High School (1515 W. Lapham Boulevard)
5) Washington High School (2525 N. Sherman Boulevard)
I think a pretty good lawsuit could be brought throwing out any statewide election results that didn't include the entire city of Milwaukee's election day votes. And that's just Milwaukee. Every single school voting location statewide could have been closed through the use of the pandemic regulation.

I can't believe that any totals excluding them would pass legal muster as a fair election.

#53 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-07 09:07 PM | Reply

I think a pretty good lawsuit could be brought ...

It already exists. It's this case. The SC ruling is on the injunction not the merits.

The trial court anticipated this problem, see post 41.

#54 | Posted by et_al at 2020-04-07 09:33 PM | Reply

#54

Saw that but didn't make the connection to my point.

Gracias again.

#55 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-07 09:36 PM | Reply

I think a pretty good lawsuit could be brought throwing out any statewide election results that didn't include the entire city of Milwaukee's election day votes.

Anyone was allowed to vote. You just had to go to one of the few polling places that was open, wait in line all day, contract coronavirus and fill out a ballot. Saying the votes weren't "included" is inaccurate - most people just didn't bother showing up.

The game is rigged, Tony. Republican judges are not going to "throw out" the results of an election that most likely got their unqualified POS judge re-elected, regardless of the merits of any challenge that gets filed.

#56 | Posted by JOE at 2020-04-07 10:59 PM | Reply

Disenfranchised?

Who exactly was disenfranchised?

It's like saying the state let them starve to death because they didn't want to go out and buy groceries.

#57 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-04-08 12:11 PM | Reply

And Joe, as a BernieBro, I'm surprised to see you lamenting old white people sticking it to old white people.

#58 | Posted by madbomber at 2020-04-08 12:12 PM | Reply

Disenfranchised?
Who exactly was disenfranchised?
It's like saying the state let them starve to death because they didn't want to go out and buy groceries.

#57 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

With all the polling stations closed because poll workers refused to show up, the answer is: A lot of people.

Milwaukee had only 5 of its normal 180 polling stations open.

Many did not receive requested Absentee Ballots.

#59 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-04-08 12:23 PM | Reply

www.nationalreview.com

#60 | Posted by sentinel at 2020-04-08 01:38 PM | Reply

www.nationalreview.com

#60 | POSTED BY SENTINEL

Sorry, whats your point?

The Wisconsin Supreme Court says no to postponement.
The US Supreme Court says no to extending ballot deadlines despite huge numbers of polling places being closed due to Coronavirus meaning people will have to flock to only the remaining few.

And you post a link with nothing more to it?

Frankly, your link cites Purcell v. Gonzalez, 549 U.S. 1, 4"5, 127 S.Ct. 5, 166 L.Ed.2d 1 (2006) as did the Court but ignores the rule from Purcell. Purcell struck down an injunction that changed the election rules just before the election because the Court of Appeals provided no Findings that the balance of harms favored the injunction and the District Court Findings provided that the balance favored denying the injunction.

Here, the District Court and the Appeals Court BOTH issued Findings essentially saying everything is FUBAR because the polling places are closing and people are going to die. The Supreme Court said, "---- it, we aren't even going to talk about that stuff. If you didn't have psychic abilities knowing that the polling places were going to be mostly closed, that's your problem."

There only other argument is that the DNC didn't ask in writing for some extensions in their preliminary filing...but they were made orally at the evidentiary hearing (which is allowed) and granted by the District Court.

Let me break it down into layman's terms: If the election is April 7 and a nuclear bomb wipes out Milwaukee on April 4, the Court won't allow a change in the election rules unless the Republicans vote for it so y'all are just going to have to glow in the dark after you vote. That's not what Purcell said. It's how the Conservative Supreme Court now treats Purcell.

#61 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-04-08 02:42 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Disenfranchised?
Who exactly was disenfranchised?

You could start with the thousands of people who, according to the state's own records, timely requested absentee ballots but never received them.

Then you could move on to the people who would have voted in person, but 97.2% of precincts in the state's largest city were closed, leaving them with the choice of standing in the rain for hours next to potential COVID carriers.

Why do you insist on demonstrating your low IQ in threads you know nothing about?

#62 | Posted by JOE at 2020-04-08 02:48 PM | Reply

#61 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT

Did I kill the thread? Did the apologists run away?

#63 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-04-08 05:32 PM | Reply

How is following the law corrupt? If they don't vote on time it doesn't count. Vote absentee early.
Why don't any illinois voter suppression stories ever get any national ink? Kinda like 2 standards.

#64 | Posted by visiter at 2020-04-08 09:59 PM | Reply

The Wisconsin ballots won't even be counted until next Monday, the 13th, and yet the Supreme Court said that it would be wrong to allow ballots received after 5:00pm Tuesday the 7th to be included with the ballots that are to be counted. If someone is standing in line when the polls officially close, the law says that they MUST be allowed to vote. Why is it that if a ballot is in the mail, on its way to the state when the polls close, that they can't be counted, especially if they're not going to start counting the votes for another SIX days anyway?

OCU

#65 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-04-09 02:07 AM | Reply

Of course the state of Wisconsin, well at least the election commission, is wondering why those absentee ballots mailed to voters during the first couple of days of the week of March 23rd never arrived at the voter's homes. By the time the election commission discovered that these ballots had never been delivered, it was too late to get new ballots to those voters while still giving them enough time to mail them back so that they would arrive before 5:00 pm on election day. This was all part of the argument made to both the state and US Supreme Courts, but NO, the courts would make NO concessions to the idea that these people deserved to have their votes counted like everyone else's.

And if you want to go all-out conspiracy theory on this, it was reported that many people feared that the Senate Republicans were trying to strip out all of the money in the recent 2.2 trillion dollar relief bill that was going to be allocated for the Postal Service. The feeling was that this was an attempt to starve the Postal Service to such an extent that it would have been all but shutdown by the end of summer, thus assuring that there would be NO significant mail-in voting anywhere in the country, thus forcing only in-person voting. As Trump and McConnell said last week, if everyone who is allowed to vote actually voted, no Republican would ever be elected again in this country.

OCU

#66 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-04-09 02:25 AM | Reply

Why is it that if a ballot is in the mail, on its way to the state when the polls close, that they can't be counted, especially if they're not going to start counting the votes for another SIX days anyway?"

As long as the mail-in ballots are postmarked by election day, they will still be counted.

www.cnn.com

#67 | Posted by sentinel at 2020-04-09 03:33 AM | Reply

I guess I killed the thread with facts.

#68 | Posted by sentinel at 2020-04-09 06:33 PM | Reply

I just heard a report that they've found, in a Wisconsin mail processing center, three large 'tubs' of absentee ballots which were never delivered to voters who had requested them. There's already talk of a Congressional investigation into who's responsible for this.

OCU

#69 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-04-09 06:47 PM | Reply

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