Trump Criticizes Conservative Wisconsin Justice Who Cast Deciding Vote Against Election Challenge

Trump Criticizes Conservative Wisconsin Justice Who Cast Deciding Vote Against Election Challenge
President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Dec. 12, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

President Donald Trump on Monday singled out the Republican Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who cast the deciding vote against a Trump campaign election lawsuit.

"Two years ago, the great people of Wisconsin asked me to endorse a man named Brian Hagedorn for State Supreme Court Justice, when he was getting destroyed in the Polls against a tough Democrat Candidate who had no chance of losing. After my endorsement, Hagedorn easily won!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

But, the president added, Hagedorn "just voted against me in a Big Court Decision on voter fraud (of which there was much!), despite many pages of dissent from three highly respected Justices."

"One thing has nothing to do with another, but we ended up losing 4-3 in a really incorrect ruling! Great Republicans in Wisconsin should take these 3 strong decisions to their State Legislators and overturn this ridiculous State Election. We won in a LANDSLIDE!" Trump concluded.

Hagedorn sided last week with three Democrat justices to reject a lawsuit from the Trump campaign that sought to invalidate four groups of ballots cast in Dane and Milwaukee counties, two Democrat strongholds.

The groups included some 170,000 absentee ballots cast in person before Election Day with a different application used by those who delivered ballots via mail, and 28,000 ballots cast by voters who said they were “indefinitely confined” so that they could submit an absentee ballot application without providing a photo ID.

The majority ruled that the campaign's arguments either lacked merit or were raised too late.

If the justices had ruled in favor of the campaign, Trump may have won Wisconsin as a result.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Brian Hagedorn. (Wisconsin Supreme Court)
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Brian Hagedorn. (Wisconsin Supreme Court)
As of now, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's slate of electors cast the certificate of ascertainment, though an alternate slate also cast their vote for Trump.

Hagedorn later explained his ruling. He said he found nothing in the law or the evidence presented in the case that would have allowed Trump to win the lawsuit.

“There was certainly nothing in the nature of the law or the facts that supported getting anywhere close to that, and I communicated that clearly,” Hagedorn said in the interview, referring to the remedy requested by the plaintiffs.

“I do think if you’re going to make a claim like that, you better have your evidence and you better have the law on your side and make your case. And at least in the cases before us, that wasn’t the case," he added.

In one of three dissents, Republican Justice Patience Roggensack said the "Milwaukee County Board of Canvassers and the Dane County Board of Canvassers based their decisions on erroneous advice when they concluded that changes clerks made to defective witness addresses were permissible."

"The majority does not bother addressing what the boards of canvassers did or should have done, and instead, four members of this court throw the cloak of laches over numerous problems that will be repeated again and again, until this court has the courage to correct them," she added. "The electorate expects more of us, and we are capable of providing it. Because we do not, I respectfully dissent."

GQ Pan and Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.