US Judge calls Trump request in Wisconsin lawsuit ‘bizarre’

US Judge calls Trump request in Wisconsin lawsuit ‘bizarre’
US President Donald Trump attends a Medal of Freedom ceremony for Lou Holtz in the Oval Office of the White House on December 3, 2020, in Washington, DC. (AFP / Brendan Smialowski(
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Updated 05 December 2020

US Judge calls Trump request in Wisconsin lawsuit ‘bizarre’

US Judge calls Trump request in Wisconsin lawsuit ‘bizarre’
  • Trump wants a federal judge to give the Republican-controlled Legislature the power to determine who won the election

MADISON, Wisconsin: A judge hearing President Donald Trump’s federal lawsuit seeking to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s win in Wisconsin said Friday that the president’s request to “remand” the case to the GOP-controlled Legislature to pick new electors was “bizarre.”
The federal case is one of two Trump has in Wisconsin making similar arguments. He filed another one in state court, which the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear before it first goes through lower courts.
Hearings on both lawsuits were scheduled for Thursday, with the judges noting the importance of resolving the legal battles before the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14.
Trump, who argues that hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots cast in accordance with state guidelines were illegal, wants a federal judge to give the Republican-controlled Legislature the power to determine who won the election.
“It’s a request for pretty remarkable declaratory relief,” said US District Judge Brett Ludwig during a conference call to set deadlines and a hearing date. Ludwig, who said it was “an unusual case, obviously,” also cast doubt on whether a federal court should be considering it at all.
“I have a very, very hard time seeing how this is justiciable in the federal court,” Ludwig, a Trump appointee, said. “The request to remand this case to the Legislature almost strikes me as bizarre.”
The judge questioned why Trump wasn’t going directly to the Legislature if he wants lawmakers to get involved with naming electors. Bill Bock, the Trump campaign attorney in the federal lawsuit, said Trump needed the court to rule that the election was “invalid” so the Legislature could get involved. He also said that the term “remand,” which is typically used to describe when one court sends a case to a lower court, was “inartful.”
Republican Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke cast serious doubt in the week on whether the Legislature might change the state’s electors from Biden to Trump backers. Steineke tweeted a clip of actor Dana Carvey playing President George H.W. Bush saying, “Not gonna do it.”
In his state lawsuit, Trump is seeking to disqualify 221,000 ballots he claims were cast illegally. Judge Stephen Simanek, who is hearing that case after the Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to take it initially, said Friday he would rule from the bench following next week’s hearing that’s scheduled to start hours after the one in federal court.
Jim Troupis, Trump’s attorney in the state lawsuit, argued his case should take precedent over the federal lawsuit, where Troupis is not the attorney.
“I’m not trying to put people in a tough spot,” Troupis said. “I’m in a tough spot in terms of deadlines.”
The high court also declined Friday to hear a lawsuit brought by Wisconsin Voters Alliance over Trump’s loss. Two others filed by Trump allies — one in federal court and one in state court — remain. Trump has lost multiple lawsuits in other battleground states as part of a longshot effort to overturn Biden’s victory. Even if he were to prevail in Wisconsin, the state’s 10 Electoral College votes would not be enough to hand him reelection.

 


Netherlands anti-curfew protests spark clashes with police, looting

Netherlands anti-curfew protests spark clashes with police, looting
Updated 7 min 12 sec ago

Netherlands anti-curfew protests spark clashes with police, looting

Netherlands anti-curfew protests spark clashes with police, looting
THE HAGUE: Protests against a curfew to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the Netherlands degenerated into clashes with police and looting in cities across the country Sunday, authorities and reports said.
Police used water cannon and dogs in Amsterdam, public television NOS reported, after hundreds gathered to protest the curfew which is set to last until February 10 and is the country’s first since World War II.
In the southern city of Eindhoven, police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of several hundred, regional television Omroep Brabant reported. At least 30 people were arrested there, according to police.
A number of vehicles were burned and businesses at Eindhoven’s central train station were also looted, media reports said.
Dutch rail company NS called on travelers to avoid the Eindhoven station, where it said train circulation was interrupted due to the intervention of emergency services nearby.
Eindhoven mayor John Jorritsma told reporters that if the country continued “down this path, then I think we are heading for civil war.”
Incidents were also reported in The Hague, Breda, Arnhem, Tilburg, Enschede, Appeldoorn, Venlo and Ruremond.
A Covid-19 testing center was set on fire on Saturday evening in the village of Urk in the north of the country, local authorities said.
“The fire in a screening center in Urk goes beyond all limits,” Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said on Sunday.
Violators of the 9 p.m. to 4:30 am curfew, which Prime Minister Mark Rutte says is needed to bring case numbers down, face a 95-euro ($115) fine.
Exemptions are possible, in particular for people returning from funerals or those having to work, but on condition that they present a certificate.
Rutte also announced on Wednesday a ban on flights from Britain, South Africa and South America, and a cut in the number of guests allowed in people’s homes to one, from the previous limit of two.
New variants of the virus have led to deep concern in Europe, particularly a more infectious strain that first emerged in Britain.
The Netherlands was already under its toughest measures since the start of the pandemic, with bars and restaurants having closed in October, and schools and non-essential shops shut since December.
Dutch lawmakers on Thursday approved Rutte’s curfew plan, though on condition that it begin half an hour later than the original 8:30 p.m. start time.
The move had faced criticism led by far-right politician Geert Wilders, who called it “careless” and “disproportionate.”
“I stand here for freedom. I lost it myself,” said Wilders, who has for years been under round-the-clock security after receiving death threats.
“I do not accept that we unnecessarily... introduce curfews while there are alternatives.”
Rutte and his cabinet resigned on January 22 over a scandal involving child tax benefits, but they will continue to govern until elections in mid-March.