Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Wisconsin Republicans on a separate issue, voting along ideological lines 5-4 to overturn a lower federal court’s decision to extend the deadline for absentee balloting.
Election officials have faced an unprecedented crush of requests for absentee ballots from voters looking to avoid the polls during the pandemic, so a federal judge Thursday granted voters and officials an extra week to count ballots.
But the U.S. Supreme Court rejected that extension, meaning that absentee ballots received after 8 p.m. Tuesday will no longer be accepted.
As RBG observes:
And as Rick Hasen points out, in addition to disenfranchising voters to protect Republican hack control of the Wisconsin courts and hence the gerrymandered Wisconsin legislature, this is pretty much a green light for Trump and his state lickspittles to do whatever they need to do to steal the elections in November:
On the other hand, it is a very bad sign for November that the Court could not come together and find some form of compromise here in the midst of a global pandemic unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes. Like the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court divided along partisan and ideological lines. Already in 2018, before COVID, the amount of election-related litigation had hit a record (data in my book, Election Meltdown). The year 2020 was likely to set a new record. But with election changes proliferating and a fight over expanded absentee balloting necessary to combat the COVID crisis, the amount of litigation is going to skyrocket. And it does not look like the courts are going to be able to do any better than the politicians in finding common ground on election principles.
This means that there is a lot of work to do now to try to avoid election meltdown. More on that in coming weeks. But the message from today is: don’t expect the courts to protect voting rights in 2020.
The 2014 and 2016 elections and the grossly undemocratic institutional structures that produced those results are a catastrophe on so many different levels.
SERIOUS SCOTUS JUSTICE VOICE: Denying WI voters who won't get an absentee ballot through no fault of their own a chance to vote without going to a public polling place in the midst of a global pandemic is … necessary to enforce the voting rights act. https://t.co/1XTUfZfM3L— Leah Litman (@LeahLitman) April 6, 2020