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The greenest ratfucking


Speaking of lawless judiciaries, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has a new single out, a duet with Howie Hawkins called “How to ratfuck an election”:

On Thursday morning, it looked like Wisconsin was positioned to run a smooth election this fall. The state’s 1,850 municipal clerks had printed at least 2.3 million absentee ballots and mailed 378,482 of them. They were well positioned to beat the Sept. 17 deadline by which, under state law, ballots must go out. In April, these clerks were crushed by a last-minute surge in requests from residents who decided to vote absentee for fear of the pandemic. The resulting delays led to mass confusion and disenfranchisement. Not this time: Officials had learned their lesson and planned far head, setting the stage for the prompt and orderly mailing of millions of ballots.

Then the Wisconsin Supreme Court stepped in. On Thursday afternoon, by a 4–3 vote divided along partisan lines, the court issued a strange, cryptic order that could throw the election into chaos. The conservative majority directed the Wisconsin Elections Commission to turn over a massive amount of information it did not actually have. These justices then halted the mailing of more absentee ballots while they consider nullifying every ballot that has been printed or mailed and forcing the state to start over. Their stunning eleventh-hour intervention could force election officials into an impossible position: either comply with the court’s order or violate both state and federal law.

The latest trouble in Wisconsin centers on Green Party candidates Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker. To get on the ballot, Hawkins and Walker were required to submit 2,000 valid signatures. But the paperwork they filed had a problem: Many signature sheets included an address, a motel in South Carolina, that was different from the one that Walker listed in her sworn declaration of candidacy. Walker had an opportunity to explain this discrepancy but declined. In accordance with state law, the Wisconsin Elections Commission rejected the signatures collected under the wrong address. That left Walker with fewer than the required 2,000 signatures, so the commission declined to place the Green Party ticket on the ballot. Hawkins and Walker waited two weeks—the critical period during which clerks printed and began mailing ballots—before asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to force their names onto the ballot anyway.

A responsible court would have rejected this challenge for two reasons: Hawkins and Walker waited an unreasonably long time to bring it, and it has no plausible legal basis. But instead of dismissing the case, the infamously irresponsible court ordered the commission to reveal who has requested absentee ballots, who has been mailed a ballot already, and when these ballots were mailed. It also demanded to know who requested the ballots to be printed, implying the existence of some conspiracy to rush them out. In the meantime, the conservative majority effectively shut down the state’s election machinery, suspending the printing of more absentee ballots. Its order suggests that four justices are seriously considering a decision in favor of the Green Party. Such a ruling would compel the state to throw out every existing ballot and begin the entire, grueling, monthslong process anew.

Just great. And anyone on any part of the left who defends the national Green Party at this late date is in the kindest construction a massive stooge.

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