Wisconsin Supreme Court to decide status of mobile voting

The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear a case dealing with the legality of mobile voting sites without having it proceed through lower appellate courts after a circuit court judge decided they are not allowed by state law after a conservative law firm sued the city of Racine.

Associated Press

May 5, 2024

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Marble pillars with Composite order capitals frame a doorway in a marble masonry wall with a carved sign reading Supreme Court above a metal filigree door.

The entrance to the Wisconsin Supreme Court chambers is seen on March 14, 2024, in the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison. The high court issued an order on May 3 that it would directly hear an appeal in a lawsuit over whether state law allows mobile voting sites. (Credit: AP Photo / Todd Richmond, File)

AP News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Supreme Court announced May 3 that it will decide whether mobile voting sites are legal without allowing any lower appellate courts to rule first.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, a conservative law firm, sued in December 2022 on behalf of Racine County Republican Party Chair Ken Brown, alleging Racine city officials illegally used a voting van to collect absentee ballots that year. A circuit judge ruled in January that state law doesn’t allow mobile voting sites to operate.

Racine City Clerk Tara McMenamin and the Democratic National Committee asked the state Supreme Court in February to review the case without letting any lower appellate courts rule on it first.

Justice Janet Protasiewicz’s election win in 2023 gave liberals a 4-3 majority on the court, increasing the likelihood of a reversal. Brown filed a motion in March asking Protasiewicz to recuse herself from the case but she declined.

The justices issued an order on the afternoon of May 3 indicating they had voted 4-3 to take the case. All three conservative justices dissented. Chief Justice Annette Ziegler, a member of the conservative block, wrote that the case hasn’t been fully briefed and the liberal justices are trying to help Democrats make political gains ahead of the November elections.

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