Gorsuch Spanks Madison Federal Judge Over Changing Election Law re When Absentee Ballots Must Arrive

The Center Square reports that Wisconsin Federal Judge William Conley order countervailing state election law is invalid.

Here is a sentence from Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion:

“The Constitution provides that state legislatures—not federal judges, not state judges, not state governors, not other state officials—bear primary responsibility for setting election rules.”


Gorsuch Spanks Madison Federal Judge Over Changing Election Law re When Absentee Ballots Must Arrive — 55 Comments

  1. It’s amazing – but not surprising – to watch Republicans fight as hard as they can to make sure that votes are not counted.

  2. Haven’t the 50 states always done this?

    The US never had a federal agency run US Presidential Elections. 🤔😮

  3. Republicans hate democracy. Period.

    They lose when people vote so they make it as hard as they can. From kicking people in black neighborhoods off voter roles in GA, to limiting the number of places people can vote in urban areas (creating long lines which many people cannot do) in TX, to poll taxes in FL, to stopping mail in ballots sent before Nov in Wisco while also attempting to slowing down the US postal service….

    I think this time around Dems finally wised up to the tricks. They have done a much better job at identifying the tactics to let people know how to make sure their voice is heard. After we win back full control it’s time to get rid of the filibuster and rebalance the court so we aren’t ruled by justices who were nominated by presidents who lost the popular vote and confirmed by senators who don’t represent a majority of the county.

  4. The rules in Illinois say that if one’s absentee ballot is postmarked by Election Day, it will be counted , if it gets to the Clerk’s Office by some time that is more than a week after Election Day.

  5. Come on Cal – that’s not even accurate. It would be helpful if you didn’t pass around inaccurate information about voting. I have no idea where your one week thing comes from.

    Your ballot must be postmarked by Tuesday, November 3, 2020 and received no later than Tuesday, November 17, 2020.

  6. It is up to the legislative branch to make election law.

    Judges don’t make law, only interpret it.

    If the people of any given state wish to have the laws changed they have ELECTED officials that can do so.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with denying anyone the right to vote.

    It has do do with not having judges make up laws.

  7. Some of states don’t have committeepeople. Some states might not have county election officials. 😐

    In Milwaukee, before covid-19 struck in March 2020, only 3 early voting sites were operating, for 15 wards. ☹️

    In Madison, 18 early voting sites were operating, for 20 wards. 😁

    Both cities are Democratically controlled. 😐

  8. Correction: Milwaukee has spring primary in February and spring election in April, for most offices. 😐

  9. Neal –

    Democracy is dead in Wisconsin. In Wisconsin the 2018 Assembly election results came in. Dems got 190,000 more votes but Republicans got a super majority 63/99 seats. Wisconsin is a blue state with a locked in map with a super majority in the assembly and a partial supreme court. The opinion might be legally correct (I not going to pretend that know if it is or isn’t) but it doesn’t change the FACT that GOP wants to limit and throw out as many mail in votes as possible because they know Dems are much more likely to VMB.

  10. So I’ve seen 190K and 205K (someone feel free to fact check me but Dems won way more votes) but here’s all you need to know about Wisconsin:

    The GOP won 161k more votes statewide in 2016 and 29 more seats in the assembly. This year (2018), the Democrats won 205k more votes — and the GOP won 27 more seats.

    Wisconsin is a joke.

  11. But I thought your highly praised suburban white wamen were going to save Wisconsin?

  12. I didn’t know the exact date ballots have to arrive.

    Thanks for adding that information.

  13. Oh, we DON’T live in a democracy.

    Never have.

    We live in a constitutional republic.

    I’m sorry that you don’t understand the difference or why you really don’t want to live in a world where 51% rules over the 49%.

  14. Some Guy –

    Make no mistake, Biden will still win the state even with the attempts to throw out these votes. White and black women will play a huge role in getting that done. Wisconsin has a Dem governor because they can’t gerrymander him.

    Nothing can “save” Wisconsin from gerrymandering until we have a Supreme Court that is more open to striking down these blatant attempts at thwarting democracy. In Wisconsin GOP is the minority party with super majority control. It’s crazy. Anyone can admit it’s super messed up that the assembly elections have already been decided. It’s ok to admit it. Just don’t pretend that GOP is pro-democracy when it does everything it can to rig elections.

  15. Eddie –

    Great question!

    Dems won the following state wide elections:
    1. United States Senate
    2. Governor
    3. Lieutenant Governor
    4. Attorney General
    5. Secretary of State
    6. Treasurer

    GOP won NO state wide races BUT GOP somehow won 5 of the 8 US House of Representative races and 64 of 99 State Assembly Races.

  16. “Nothing can “save” Wisconsin from gerrymandering until we have a Supreme Court that is more open to striking down these blatant attempts at thwarting democracy”

    Let me interpret this for those who don’t speak Woke.

    This means that nothing can save Wisconsin until we have a Supreme Court that will ignore the constitution because they don’t personally agree with the outcome.

    And you guys say Trump is the threat? That’s funny.

  17. Thanks Oh! 😁

    Milwaukee has 17 early voting sites, for November 3rd. 😁

  18. Neal –

    A Supreme Court that ignores the Constitution? What does that mean? Can you tell me the Constitutional arguments for and against gerrymandering? This should be good….

  19. My argument is that such issues are the business of the state of Wisconsin.

    Exactly what the Justice said when he issued his statement.

    Since this is a presidential election Article 2 Section 1 applies

    Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

    With regards to how to draw state level districts the constitution is silent.

    It would be an issue for the Wisconsin Supreme Court to rule on based on state law.

    SCOTUS would have no part in it and you can’t really make the argument that the results you report go against even the spirit of the constitution.

    The constitution gave us things like the Senate and the Electoral College that defiantly go against simple majority rule.

  20. I don’t know why you pointed out that because I don’t agree with that decision either, other than the deadline for having votes in.

    Again, I’m not a lifetime Republican.

    I just call it like I see it and at the moment the democrats have gone insane.

  21. This case doesn’t raise the same issues anyway.

    The rules are the same statewide as far as I know.

  22. How Wisconsin gerrymanders **Congressional seats** is the business of the United States House of Representatives.

  23. Alabama & Oh sure are squealing like stuck pigs.

    This supreme court ruling really rattled their liberal brains.

    Brilliant 🎉

  24. “How Wisconsin gerrymanders **Congressional seats** is the business of the United States House of Representatives.”

    How do you figure?

    Please point to the part of the constitution that gives this authority to the House.

    Also how does this make me wrong about what I said about the SCOTUS?

    You must be confusing your branches of government because you said.

    “Nothing can “save” Wisconsin from gerrymandering until we have a Supreme Court that is more open to striking down these blatant attempts at thwarting democracy”

    That’s why ACB is such an incredible pick.

    I highly intelligent Christian woman who believes the law actually means what it says. Perfect.

  25. Could Oh & Shake be the same person?

    Or in the same office or home?

  26. Here’s three Electoral College electors:

    Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton,

    Toni Lynn Reed Preckwinkle,

    Michael Joseph Madigan

  27. It’s time for red states to secede. Simple as that.

    Create ethnostates away from Congoid chaos.

  28. Boy, it’s sure easy to tell who the snowflakes are in this crowd.

  29. “You must be confusing your branches of government because you said: “Nothing can “save” Wisconsin from gerrymandering until we have a Supreme Court that is more open to striking down these blatant attempts at thwarting democracy”

    That’s fair. I was combing the two. Gerrymandering is a problem for state and federal legislative bodies. It needs to be fixed at the highest level.

    1st and 14th Amendments.

    “For the first time ever, this Court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities,” Kagan began. “And not just any constitutional violation. The partisan gerrymanders in these cases deprived citizens of the most fundamental of their constitutional rights: the rights to participate equally in the political process, to join with others to advance political beliefs, and to choose their political representatives.”

  30. Oh needs to be dumped into northern Mali, naked and with no ids or cash.

  31. What’s the point of posting under two different names?

    Why would I or Alabama do that?

  32. Paul, sorry to disappoint you, but unlike many on here I have no desire or need to pretend that I’m someone else or use multiple handles.

  33. Neal

    My point in citing Bush v. Gore is that Justice Gorsuch’s statement that state and federal courts should, absent constitutional issues, stay out of state law election disputes is seemingly inconsistent with Bush. In Bush v. Gore several of the Justices in the majority asserted that the “Florida Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Florida election laws impermissibly distorted them beyond what a fair reading required.” Of course, “fair reading” meant how the Supreme Court justices read state law, not how Florida’s Supreme Court (the final arbiter of state law) interpreted it. And state supreme courts are the final arbiters of state law, no matter how much Justices of the Supreme Court disagree with such interpretation.

    Nor can the “due process” argument save such meddling (or should we say “hijacking” ?). If the Supreme Court may hold that an interpretation of a state’s elections laws by a state supreme court violated “due process” (thereby forging a constitutional issue) because the Supreme Court didn’t agree with such an interpretation, then the Supreme Court becomes the final arbiter of state election law.

    In essence, by transforming any interpretational disagreement into a constitutional issue (“due process”) in Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court set itself up as the final arbiter of state election law on virtually any interpretational issue.

    That is why I find Justice Gorsuch’s statement incompatible with and why I cited Bush.

    I should have clarified what I was getting at, for which I apologize.

  34. Just so we’re clear, Gorsuch wants to defer to state decisions. In NC the legislature has given the Board of Elections the ability to extend the deadline for accepting mail in ballots. The Board did that and the same Gorsuch who “spanked” a federal judge by writing:

    “The Constitution provides that state legislatures—not federal judges, not state judges, not state governors, not other state officials—bear primary responsibility for setting election rules.”

    Yeah, that guy. The legislature gave the board the power. This time he was in the dissent and Roberts “spanked” him back, I guess, to use Cal’s phrase.

    In PA, the PA Supreme Court interpreted a PA law to allow for late arriving votes in accordance with the Free and Equal Elections Clause in the Pennsylvania Constitution which mandates that all aspects of the electoral process in PA be open and unrestrictive so as not to disenfranchise PA voters. While there was no written dissent, Gorsuch was part of the dissent.

    The conservative justices are not “just following the Constitution.”

    While we don’t know 100% what Barrett will do, she is posing with Trump for campaign photo ops at the White House paid by taxpayers so we know where that’s headed.

    Brett Kavanaugh is such a partisan hack that he should get his own post.

  35. I disagree with the Bush v Gore decision.

    It doesn’t follow the constitution as the federal government has no business telling the states how to interpret state law.

    The correct

  36. The correct reading in my opinion is to defer to the states so long as they are violating the constitution themselves.

  37. And if you want to talk about who politicized the court it was the democrats.

    Biden led the charge.

    We even gave the world a new verb “borking”

  38. Hey Confed AF, how about Chicago just become their own state?

    Then IL would be red!

    I still recall Quinn becoming Guv winning just 3 counties of 102 in IL.

  39. Lets compare Bork to Garland to Barrett.

    Bork got a hearing, a vote, and he was defeated in a bipartisan 58–42 vote. Garland got no vote. Garland got no hearing. Garland was well respected and would have easily been confirmed. He was confirmed 76-23 by a Republican led Senate and all the no’s centered around whether the DC Circuit needed an 11th seat.

    GOP wouldn’t give Garland a vote because we were in the middle of an election (it was Feb and the party nominees had not yet been decided). Barrett got confirmed after 50 million people already voted in the 2020 election.

    It’s going to be fun to watch the GOP cry and cry and cry when the filibuster goes and the USSC court is expanded.

    …..Also, there’s a difference between senators “politicizing” the court and the USSC Justices pretending to just be “following the law” when the law always seems to end up being the Republican position.

  40. **how about Chicago just become their own state? Then IL would be red!**

    If you take Chicago out of the 2018 Governor’s race, Pritzker still would have won by 125,000 votes.

    **I still recall Quinn becoming Guv winning just 3 counties of 102 in IL.**

    This is the most irrelevant number people throw out.

    Counties don’t vote.

    Land doesn’t vote.

    People vote.

  41. The GOP didn’t give Garland a vote because they didn’t have to. They acted in line with how the senate has acted in the past. They simply should have just kept their mouths shut and not voted on her, so I give you that was a political mistake. With ACB they again have acted like the senate has in the past.

    The problem comes down to this. Congress doesn’t make laws anymore. They pass it off to the government agencies and court rulings that shift the law the way they want. If we actually followed the constitution, it really would not matter much who was on the court or even who is president.

    It’s really the only way for a country this large and diverse to get along, keep government local as possible. That’s my entire problem with the democrats, they assume they are right and want to remake the whole country in the image of California. They are not happy with some areas being red, some blue. They will not be happy until the whole country is rigged for them because they are obviously superior and know what’s best.

  42. Neal – They did not act in line with the very rule THEY. MADE. UP!

    Rubio, Cruz, Graham, McConnell, and most of them very clearly said that they were creating a new rule and this rule would apply even if there was a Republican president. They are liars. And like you said DUMB because they gave away the game 4 years later. You don’t have to look back to “what’s been done in the past” (whatever that means and I know what it does mean). But what’s more relevant is looking to the rule that the guys WHO ARE STILL IN THE SENATE said just 4 years ago about this exact situation.

    GOP didn’t have to give Garland a vote and the Dems don’t have to keep the number of Supreme Court justices at 9 when they take back full control of government.

  43. Fritz Fritz, Chicago isn’t the only Democratic entity of Cook County. There’s about 130 suburbs that comprise 50 townships. Most of those suburbs are Democratic. 🤔😮

    Chicago + Suburbs = Cook County 😐

  44. Oh, Neal is right. The US Supreme Court won’t involve itself in Wisconsin and Illinois congressional district boundaries. ☹️

  45. Democrats are crybabies and whiners when they don’t get their way. They were crying and lying about how illegitimate was the nomination and swearing in of Justice Amy Barret. But,not one of them cited anything in the Constitution or law that the sitting president and majority US Senate violated. They got nothing.

    Our nation would be better served if the Democrat Party were dissolved over the entire US and existing Democrats grouped together and called themselves what they are. Either the Socialist USA Party or the Communist USA Party. This would show their true colors. Their Jacka** mascot and symbol can be amended to also show a hammer and sickle.

  46. Bred –

    Name one single President of the United States of America who whined and cried more than Trump. All the dude does is whine, whine, whine, whine. Everything is so unfair. Everyone treats him so badly. He’s an embarrassment. I’m old enough to remember when Republicans were suppose to be the party of tough guys who actually put on the tough guy act. Now we have a guy who just cries all day long on Twitter.

    EvERy tHiNg iS RiGgED agAInsT mE………

  47. In Trump’s case he is right, especially regarding the media. His taxes are illegally leaked and it’s fine, but the emails on the laptop might have been hacked says Twitter. They really must think people are stupid because they make no attempt to even hide the bias at this point.

    As far as the democrats go, they really should split into two parties. What has effectively happened is the moderate part of the party refuses to work at all with the other side due to TDS so they are now partnering with the radicals. There should be a democratic party of moderates and a crazy party of communists, but it’s up to them to clean house.

  48. This year is a choice for democrats. Do you want to have a system where sometimes you don’t get your way but freedom is preserved? Vote for Trump.

    If you want a system where we pursue the liberal utopia at all costs and destroy anything in the way, then vote for Harris /Biden.

  49. I was taught by a couple of Con law teachers who were experts in the field and wrote the treatises and hornbooks almost universally used. Anyone who believes that judges (yes, even conservative and Republican judges) only “find” rather than “make” the law is laboring under a delusion. (“Oops, we’ve lost the law. Where could it have gone ? It’s always the last place you look.”) It’s inescapable. An honest judge admits as much.


    Likewise is the delusion that judges aren’t influenced (consciously or unconsciously) by their background, personal preferences and ideologies. The latest Supreme Court nominee is a perfect example of that. She wasn’t chosen to be an impartial umpire and simply “call balls and strikes”.

    Admitting the foregoing, the question becomes whether it wouldn’t be a better practice to concentrate on nominating centrists for the judiciary — like, say, Merrick Garland. And in a related vein — even given that there is some Senatorial tradition of not advancing a judicial nomination by a President of a party other than that which controls the Senate during the last year of a presidential term, can someone explain why such a tradition is in the best interests of the country as opposed to simply being an exercise in partisan politics ?

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