A spokesperson for Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said conservative legislators are trying to disenfranchise millions of eligible voters.
Two Republican state legislators in Wisconsin have signaled support for yet another lawsuit seeking to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s election victories in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Arizona.
According to Wisconsin Public Radio, state Reps. Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz) and David Steffen (R-Green Bay) joined a lawsuit filed late Tuesday night in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. Initially filed by the conservative Wisconsin Voters Alliance, the suit requests that legislatures in each of the named states be given the power to name an electoral slate—even before vote counts are finished.
Mausau earlier told WisPolitics that his “constituents are just screaming about having someone do something about this.”
Many conservatives—especially avid supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump—have claimed that the 2020 presidential elections were plagued with voter fraud, ballot rigging, and other modes of misconduct.
In response, Republican voters, legislators, and the Trump campaign itself have filed a litany of lawsuits challenging vote counts in battleground states. To date, none of these suits have managed to overturn more than a scarce handful of ballots. Several judges have also remarked on the uninspiring lack of evidence underlying conservative claims, with one Wisconsin Supreme Court justice going so far as to assert that some election-related litigation is spurious and potentially racist.
Interestingly, the recently-filed Wisconsin lawsuit names Republican Vice President Mike Pence as a defendant, alongside Congress, the Electoral College, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D), state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Racine County) and Sen. Howard Marklein, a Republican who is incorrectly listed as the Senate majority leader.
In court briefs, attorneys Erick Kaardal and Thomas Moore have argued that the state—and its legislative surrogates—have violated Wisconsinites’ constitutional rights by recognizing Presidential electors without the support of the state legislature.
“The Defendants violate the Plaintiffs’ constitutionally protected voting rights by recognizing Presidential electors who have not yet received legislative post-election certification and by counting their votes,” Kaardall wrote.
Rep. Steffen told Wisconsin Public Radio that the lawsuit revolves around the constitutional roles and responsibilities of state legislators. According to Steffen, Wisconsin—along with several other states—erroneously and illegally transferred the power to make Electoral College decisions to non-legislative bodies about “a century ago.”
“Powers assigned to legislators in either the state or United States Constitution such as voting, district map design or elector determinations are not transferable to a bureaucracy, organization or other third party,” Steffen wrote.
A spokesperson for Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers criticized Assembly Republicans for supporting a lawsuit which seemingly seeks to invalidate millions of legally-cast ballots.
“It’s unfortunate that Republicans are supporting a lawsuit to disenfranchise 3.3 million Wisconsin voters and undo an election in which they themselves were elected while giving themselves the right to decide who wins Wisconsin’s 10 electoral vote,” the spokesperson said.
WPR.org notes that “several lawsuits in state and federal courts” seeking to invalidate Wisconsin’s vote certification have been unsuccessful—including at least one which was also filed by the Wisconsin Voter Alliance.