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Election lawsuit involving La Crosse Co. GOP chair dismissed in federal court

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WXOW) - A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by the head of the La Crosse County Republican Party seeking to overturn the certification of the November election for president.

The lawsuit was filed December 1 by former Trump team attorney Sidney Powell in federal court in Milwaukee.

The suit was brought originally on behalf of two plaintiffs, La Crosse County GOP chair Bill Feehan and 3rd District congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden.

Not long after the suit was filed, Van Orden publically denied involvement, stating that his name was used without his permission. His name was removed from the suit a few days later.

One of the goals of the suit was to have the judge order Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers de-certify the election results for Joe Biden and instead certify them for President Donald Trump. It said, in part, that due to the voting machines used in the state, the software inflated numbers for Biden and Democratic candidates down the ticket.

Late last month, as part of a series of 184 random public audits across the state, election workers in La Crosse found no discrepancies between the machine count and a hand count of the ballots cast.

Judge Pamela Pepper, the Chief United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, issued a lengthy response in her dismissal of the lawsuit. A copy of the dismissal can be read below.

She began her order, in part, "The election that preceded this lawsuit was emotional and often divisive. The pleadings that have been filed over the past week are passionate and urgent. People have strong, deep feelings about the right to vote, the freedom and opportunity to vote, and the value of their vote. They should. But the legal question at the heart of this case is simple. Federal courts have limited jurisdiction. Does a federal court have the jurisdiction and authority to grant the relief this lawsuit seeks? The answer is no."

She continues, "Federal judges do not appoint the president in this country. One wonders why the palintiffs came to federal court and asked a federal judge to do so. After a week of sometimes odd and often harried litigation, the court is no closer to answering the "why". But this federal court has no authority or jurisdiction to grant the relief the remaining plaintiff seeks. The court will dismiss the case."

Judge Pepper went on to later note that part of the lawsuit was moot by the time it was filed. The lawsuit asked for the de-certification of the election results, to not have Gov. Tony Evers transmit the certified election results, and to not count certain votes. She cited that the first two were done the day before the lawsuit was filed on December 1, while the third was completed on November 29. In part, she said, "But Evers already has certified and transmitted the election results-he cannot refuse to do that which he has already done."

The judge also mentioned several times in the order that the plaintiff did not have the standing to bring the case to federal court. She pointed to one of the reasons Gov. Evers sought to dismiss the case, namely that Wisconsin law provides a path to remedy issues over the voting or canvassing process. "Evers points out that the plaintiff has not demonstrated that he followed this procedure and thus that the plaintiff did not exhaust his remedies before coming to federal court," the order states.

In conclusion, the judge said, "This court's authority to grant relief is confined by the limits of the Constitution. Granting the relief the plaintiff requests would take the court far outside those limits, and outside the limits to uphold and defend the Constitution. The court will grant the defendants' motion to dismiss."

News app viewers can read Judge Pepper's dismissal order here.

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