WI Supreme Court Deals Major Blow To GOP Voter Suppression


This was not the first dance where Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Brian Hagedorn changed partners. It is as if a cloud of confusion descended upon every one of the GOP legislators a decade ago, put them into a trance, and sent each out to choose party over country. Wisconsin is just the latest place where the Republican lawmakers have been busy little worker clones changing their state’s voters’ rights laws. Hagedorn said just wait one minute.

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court was having none of the Republicans’ misdeeds. It ruled on Friday in a five-to-two decision that the state election officials did not need to rush to remove people from the voter rolls, specifically when they think the individual had moved. The court ruled that the Election Commission cannot force “tens of thousands of people off the rolls near a major election.” according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Justice Hagedorn wrote the majority opinion:

‘There is no credible argument that it does.’

Conservatives brought the lawsuit against the state to “make sure the state’s voter lists are accurate.” Democrats sent a signal that changing state policy could mean people might be erroneously removed from the voter rolls. According to the majority:

‘The state law at the heart of the lawsuit over when to take voters off the rolls does not apply to the Elections Commission.’

Interestingly, Hagedorn has been voting with the liberal justices more often. Although Senate Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) packed the courts with conservatives, Hagedorn has not been carrying their water. Republicans considered Hagedorn a ready-made justice when they brought him into office in 2019. This time Justice Roggensack voted with the liberals.

In the case at issue, the lawsuit over the voter rolls began back in 2019 when the Elections Commission sent letters to the approximately 232,000 voters they believed had moved. When voters opened the letter, it read that it required them to register wherever the new address was or confirm they had not moved.

Three voters in the outskirts of Milwaukee filed the lawsuit against the state. Their argument was that Wisconsin must straight away remove those who had moved. An Ozaukee County judge ruled against them, however, an appeals court reversed the decision, indicating the voters should remain on the voter rolls.

The conservatives weeded out those whose residency was less questionable. That list contained 72,000 voters, and they sent out new letters. None of the voters in doubt voted in 2020.

Nearly, 5,000 voters on record had not moved in spite of the Republicans naming them so.

The case is the latest in which Hagedorn agreed with the liberal justices:

  • In December, Hagedorn joined the liberal justices in upholding President Joe Biden’s Wisconsin win. He also sided with them to keep “the Green Party’s presidential ticket off the ballot.”
  • Then in May, the conservative Justice Hagedorn also went with the liberals when they said the conservatives were wrong to strike down a  working-from-home order. It had been enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • But he stayed with the conservatives indicating that Governor Tony Evers did not have the “power to issue mask requirements and other health orders.”

The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.