Supreme Court rejects fast track for Trump election cases

The United States Supreme Court formally refused Monday to put on a fast track multiple election challenges filed by President Donald Trump and his allies, including one filed by an Indianapolis law firm.

The court rejected without comment pleas for quick consideration of cases involving the outcome in five states won by President-elect Joe Biden: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In the Wisconsin case before the nation’s high court, attorney William Bock III of the Indianapolis law firm Kroger Gardis & Regas is lead counsel. That case is Donald J. Trump v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, et al., 20-883.

The court’s orders, issued without comment, were unsurprising. The justices had previously taken no action in those cases in advance of last week’s counting of the electoral votes in Congress, which confirmed Biden’s victory. 

The court still could act on appeals related to the Nov. 3 election later this winter or in the spring. Several justices had expressed interest in a Pennsylvania case involving the state Supreme Court’s decision to extend the deadline for receipt of mailed ballots by three days, over the opposition of the Republican-controlled Legislature.

But even if the court were to take up an election-related case, it probably wouldn’t hear arguments until the fall.

None of the cases alleging systemic voting fraud or irregularities pending at the nation’s highest court have succeeded in altering any state’s certified votes. In the case represented by Bock, a Trump-appointed judge in the Eastern District of Wisconsin dismissed the case, stating the arguments it raised “fail as a matter of law and fact.”

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, in an opinion written by another Trump-nominated judge, affirmed the lower court, concluding that the president had waited too long to raise challenges that are at the core of the Wisconsin suit: arguments about how the election was administered.

“The President had a full opportunity before the election to press the very challenges to Wisconsin law underlying his present claims. Having foregone that opportunity, he cannot now — after the election results have been certified as final — seek to bring those challenges,” Judge Michael Scudder wrote late last month. “All of this is especially so given that the Commission announced well in advance of the election the guidance he now challenges. Indeed, the witness address guidance came four years ago, before the 2016 election. The Commission issued its guidance on indefinitely confined voters in March 2020 and endorsed the use of drop boxes in August.”

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