Wisconsin GOP Supreme Court Justice Who Lost Re-Election Wants to Rejoin Voter Purge Case Before Leaving the Court
Wisconsin saw its election upended earlier this month in the face of the national health crisis.
Absentee ballot requests surged from around 250 thousand to over a million just before the election as Wisconsinites observed stay at home measures to curb the spread of the virus.
Due to the unprecedented demand in absentee ballot requests, there was no feasible way to deliver the ballots to voters ahead of the election, leading the Democratic National Committee to request an extension of the absentee voting deadline by a week.
Republicans opposed the effort and won, resulting in hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites being forced to choose between voting in person and potentially exposing themselves to the virus or not voting at all.
Republicans were hoping this blatant voter suppression would pay off with the reelection of conservative judge Daniel Kelly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but in a major victory for Democrats, liberal leaning Jill Karofsky defeated him.
But that doesn't mean Kelly and the rest of the Republicans on the Wisconsin Supreme Court aren't done doing damage.
Kelly had previously recused himself from the case of Zignego v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, which could result in a massive purge of Wisconsin voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election, but since Kelly's election is over, he's signaled that he may oversee the case after all before he leaves the bench in August.
Kelly wrote in a letter to the parties:
"The 2020 spring general election is now complete, so it appears the reason for my recusal from considering any aspect of this matter no longer obtains. I issue this order to give the parties an opportunity to state their position on whether I should recuse myself from considering the pending petition for review and, potentially, the merits of these consolidated appeals, before I make a final decision on my participation."
The move signals a solidarity with Republican voter suppression efforts in a state that's crucial for Democrats to win in November.
Others were happy to give their position on whether or not Kelly should still preside over the case.
Somebody should tell Kelly that the voters spoke and they do not want his opinion! Elections matter. https://t.co/XxaNdWMJGM via @TPM— Keith's Dad Rants (@Keith's Dad Rants)1587066823.0
Hey, he'll screw the voters one last time, so no wingnut will ever lose again | Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Sigâ�¦ https://t.co/5myJbyLKdm— Rural Freedom Network (@Rural Freedom Network)1587073365.0
heads we win, tails you lose https://t.co/qYT623QTbJ— Joe Paulson (@Joe Paulson)1587074700.0
@TPM Win or lose. Fascists don't recuse.— shlewis (@shlewis)1587061970.0
@TPM Sore loser Daniel Kelly— Josh Hinton (@Josh Hinton)1587065726.0
Voter suppression is an all too common tactic for the GOP.
Audio shows RNC member, prominent conservative operatives discussing plan to place police and former military as Reâ�¦ https://t.co/xWPVb6bkTc— Lee Fang (@Lee Fang)1586797539.0
Voter suppression, finagling, and outright ratfcking is so much a part of the conservative DNA by now that the Repuâ�¦ https://t.co/OTI9nEdAy3— Charles P. Pierce (@Charles P. Pierce)1586294975.0
Republicans already tried to rig vote-by-mail in North Carolina and theyâ��ll try to do it again in places like FL, Gâ�¦ https://t.co/4uoJoDR3zP— Samuel Sinyangwe (@Samuel Sinyangwe)1586705748.0
Don't let them get away with it. Check your voter registration status here.
For a deeper look into the history of GOP voter suppression, check out Uncounted, available here.