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Appeals Court rejects extension of Wisconsin absentee ballot deadline, reversing lower court

Appeals Court rejects extension of Wisconsin absentee ballot deadline, reversing lower court

Another in a series of decisions rolling back Democrat-demanded and lower-court-ordered changes to election laws to accommodate Democrats’ electoral strategy of promoting mail-in voting.

Earlier this week the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated South Carolina’s witness requirement for absentee ballots, after a federal district court judge effectively rewrote election law due to the pandemic.

While the Supreme Court issued no opinion, and ordered the case to proceed to the appeals court, Justice Kavanaugh wrote a concurring opinion which was a road map to opposing such judicial action: focus on the primary responsibility of the legislature for voting rules, and the close proximity of election day with the risk of confusion from a late change.

The SCOTUS decision, which had no dissents, may signal how the Supreme Court will deal with other judicially-ordered ballot changes both before the election, and attempts to change the rules after the election as non-compliant mail-in ballots are counted.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals just rolled back a district court order extending the time within which absentee-ballots would be received and counted. AP reports:

A federal appeals court on Thursday blocked a decision to extend the deadline for counting absentee ballots by six days in battleground Wisconsin, in a win for Republicans who have fought attempts to expand voting across the country.

If the ruling stands, absentee ballots will have to be delivered to Wisconsin election clerks by 8 p.m. on Election Day if they are to be counted. The ruling makes it more likely that results of the presidential race in the pivotal swing state will be known within hours of poll closing.

Democrats almost certainly will appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. A spokesman and an attorney didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Under state law, absentee ballots are due in local clerks’ offices by 8 p.m. on election night. But Democrats and allied groups sued to extend the deadline after the April presidential primary saw long lines, fewer polling places, a shortage of poll workers and thousands of ballots mailed days after the election. Wisconsin, like much of the rest of the country, is already seeing massive absentee voting for November and the state expects as many as 2 million people to vote absentee.

U.S. District Judge William Conley ruled last month that any ballots that arrive in clerk’s offices by Nov. 9 will be counted, as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3. In that ruling, Conley noted the heavy absentee load and the possibility it could overwhelm election officials and the postal service.

The 7th Circuit Court judges initially upheld Conley’s ruling on Sept. 29, rejecting the Republicans’ standing to intervene. After the Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed that standing, the same three-judge panel delivered Thursday’s ruling.

Justices Frank Easterbrook and Amy St. Eve voted to stay the order and Ilana Rovner opposed.

The Opinion (pdf.) followed Kavanaugh’s reasoning, without citing it.

The State Legislature offers two principal arguments in support of a stay: first, that a federal court should not change the rules so close to an election; second, that political rather than judicial officials are entitled to decide when a pandemic justifies changes to rules that are otherwise valid. See Luft v. Evers, 963 F.3d 665 (7th Cir. 2020) (sustaining Wisconsin’s rules after reviewing the elections code as a whole). We agree with both of those arguments, which means that a stay is appropriate under the factors discussed in Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 434 (2009).

If Democrats appeal to the Supreme Court, it seems unlikely they will succeed. This is another in a series of decisions rolling back Democrat-demanded and lower-court-ordered changes to election laws to accommodate Democrats’ electoral strategy of promoting mail-in voting.

That strategy of heavy reliance on mail-in voting may backfire on Democrats, as they are now realizing.


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The SC had to stop Florida courts twice for rewriting election laws in 2000. If Dems are so confident of a Blue Wave, why all the election rigging? Or is election rigging the reason they are confident?

Here in LA County, we were all sent mail-in ballots and a couple of other informational mailers regarding the candidates and propositions. But so far, no in-person voting locations have been announced. The first mailer told us they would send another mailer listing them but we could also go online to find them. The only thing found online is a message that a mailer will be sent announcing those locations. I suspect the game may be to delay as long as possible to disqualify our mail-in ballots for being late.

Absolutely everything out here is disorganized. A total mess.

The Friendly Grizzly | October 9, 2020 at 7:56 am

I fully support keeping control of elections out of federal hands, but, if I could wave some magic wand, I would give the voting and registration setups a full review in every state of the union.

If I were king:

1) No motor voter. You go to the county registrar of voters and register. You go to one of those deputy registrars that used to set up bridge tables outside supermarkets; Pasadena Phil, if old enough, will remember those all over the Los Angeles County area.

2) No same-day registration. “Oh! I moved, and just never got around to it!”. Tough. The same for provisional ballots.

3) Photo ID. No ifs or buts. You have one for buying liquor. You presented one for your free phone, and for your EBT and Section 8. It’s not “racist”.

4) Absentee ballots are in by the close of the polls election day. Period.

    I’m old enough to remember when we were expected to remove our hats when entering a building.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Pasadena Phil. | October 9, 2020 at 8:29 am

      I recall when men wore hats. Department stores had hat departments. I also recall everyone in neckties.

      I am glad the necktie days are gone. I detest the damned things. They serve absolutely no use I can think of beyond causing discomfort, and adding to one’s dry-cleaning bill. I have ties that are at least 40 years old, and they have been worn, maybe, 20 times. One more thing: have you any idea how hard it is to find ties that look right when one has a 21 inch neck?

      Moat today dress like slobs; I’d like to see a return to some sort of decorum in dress. But, TIES?!?!?

        Grizzly –

        I understand your position on neckties, but I must admit that I like them. I worked for forty years, always up and out of the house before any of the family (except the dog) were awake.
        My choice of ties in the pre-dawn darkness was the ONLY decision that I could make during the day than no one (boss, wife, dog) could criticize. Small price to pay.

        I also remember when men wore hats.
        Real hats, not baseball caps.
        And worn without hipster irony.

      Ronbert in reply to Pasadena Phil. | October 9, 2020 at 9:21 am

      My Grandfather wore a tie while he ploughed (with a mule). Also he wore a hat. I’m glad those days are gone.

    OwenKellogg-Engineer in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | October 9, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Long live King Grizzly!!!!

    I kinda wish you were king, Mr. Grizzly.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to amwick. | October 9, 2020 at 8:50 am

      It’s a certainly I could never win public office in the US.

      1) I don’t follow, care about, or understand, sports.
      2) I am not at all religious.
      3) After years of field assignments that involved “public housing” and the occipants thereof, I am staunchly “pro-choice”.
      4) I will not wear a flag lapel pin. To me, doing so is cheap virtue signaling.
      5) I can’t be president because I throw even more like a girl than Obama.
      6) I am a male chauvinist pig.
      7) Worthy lives matter.
      8) I do not favor compulsory flag-pledging, or compulsory prayer, in taxpayer-funded schools.
      9) I am one of those evil nasty vile no-good homosexuals.
      10) I would target my campaign to Americans. Not “the black vote”, the “Hispanic vote”, the “women vote”, the “evangelical vote”, the “[grievance group of the moment] vote”.

        Sounds good to me!!!

          The Friendly Grizzly in reply to amwick. | October 9, 2020 at 11:15 am

          But, not to the American public. “He throws like a girl! He’d be a terrible president!

          “Besides, I don’t see him schlepping a bible around, or reciting some doggerel written by a socialist but has become a touchstone for judging patriotism!

          “No wife? No children? He’d be an awful president!

          “And, what’s with that beard, anyway!”

      amwick in reply to amwick. | October 9, 2020 at 8:51 am

      Just for fun..

      You’re a natural.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | October 9, 2020 at 9:58 am

    I agree with your points. I’d add a couple more. I’d add a very basic civics test that a below average 8th grader could pass. and a small “poll tax.” It makes absolutely no sense to me how people who can not govern their own life should have a say in how the country is governed – and how that leads to “good” governance. I know that makes me a fascist monster in the eyes of the Left and those who fetishize universal suffrage.


    Democrats have spent decades conditioning the public to accept that there should be no burden at all to voting.

    Restricting the right to vote to those who respect the duly elected laws was widely accepted until fairly recently. I doubt not allowing felons to vote deterred many from committing felonies, but at least it sent the message that if you disrespect the laws by getting prosecuted for committing a felony then you have lost the right to have a say in how the country is governed. It’s part of the penalty you assumed when you decided to commit the felony.

    Polls show people see the value in requiring photo IDs to preserve election integrity. Despite Democrats best efforts to change minds, it’s still about a 70% issue. But Democrats ridiculously want people to believe requiring a photo ID is a burden too onerous to bear. So they keep pressing and propagandizing the issue.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | October 9, 2020 at 11:19 am

      I believe that if a felon, especially a one-timer, has paid his debt and gone on with life, they should get their franchise back. A relative of mine is a convicted felon, but that was 1968. He got his rights back through appeals and other steps.

      The sheer number of laws on the books today, any one of us could end up with a felony record. See: the McCloskeys (spelling?)

      The multiple felon? No.

      Well a poll tax and a civics test won’t pass muster. However, useful proxies might be:
      1. HS diploma or GED Neither are exclusive or income dependent.
      2. Employed or retired. Neither requires a ‘payment’ nor refraining from any form of govt assistance, but both demonstrate productive citizenship either past or present.

“If Democrats appeal to the Supreme Court, it seems unlikely they will succeed.”

Yes, but have the Hawaiian Federal judges said anything yet? They are the highest court in the land, or so they believe.

In her tweet Ronna McDaniel says the court sided with the RNC. While that is true the court actually sided with the law, the constitution, and the people of Wisconsin. Unfortunately, our courts often side chaos and disorder by changing or making law as they feel will enhance the chances of their political party.


Again the primary d goal isn’t to have these illegal and misguided changes to election laws approved by the courts. The goal is to sow chaos, create confusion and lay the groundwork for:

1. Post election day narrative
2. The narrative is ‘x many ballots were not counted so result is not valid’
3. Election result not valid = Trump not valid POTUS
Corollary: r Senate majority not valid, r HoR majority not valid (fingers crossed)
4. Federal executive branch and legislative branch not valid = the ‘people’ aka anarchist mob, is justified in it’s action
Corollary: opposition/resistance to implementing anything produced by these ‘invalid’ bodies is okdoke

This narrative and the activities it spawns will be buttressed by the MSM and the open opposition activities of the 1st term for Trump. If you thought that was bad you haven’t seen anything yet.

Please shut down Pennsylvania’s next

    txvet2 in reply to Skip. | October 9, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    If reports are true, Pa. has a bigger problem just with Philadelphia not letting GOP poll watchers in the counting room.

In Israel we have to not only present our Photo ID, Teudat Zehut (Israeli personal identification) not just a drivers license but also our polling location card. The only ones that can vote by mail are diplomats stationed in other countries. Unlike Democrat controlled Cities and States, the Dead can not vote. The number of ballots are matched with the people that are checked off on the voter roll and there are poll watchers for the parties.