Federal case to throw out votes in Milwaukee, Dane and Menominee counties dismissed

By: - November 16, 2020 11:54 am
Gavel courtroom sitting vacant

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The three plaintiffs in the case filed in federal court in Green Bay seeking to throw out the votes in Milwaukee, Dane and Menominee counties voluntarily dismissed their own action less than an hour before Monday’s scheduled hearing with the court. 

The case, Langenhorst v. Pecore, led by Indiana-based conservative attorney James Bopp of True the Vote, a nonprofit that claims to be dedicated to fighting voter fraud, was filed on behalf of three voters in northern Wisconsin: Michael Langenhorst of Door County, Michael LeMay of Brown County and Stephen Fifrick of Oconto County. It sought to change the outcome of Wisconsin’s presidential election by excluding the votes from Wisconsin’s three most Democratic counties, based on unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday.

“Plaintiffs Michael Langenhorst, Michael D. LeMay, and Stephen Fifrick give notice that the above-captioned action is voluntarily dismissed without prejudice against all Defendants,” the court filing states.

U.S. District Court Judge William Griesbach of the Eastern District of Wisconsin dismissed the case just before a 10:30 status conference was to occur.

“It was meritless to start with, so they just did the court’s work and shortened the process,” says Jefferey Mandell, director of the nonprofit law firm Law Forward, which has been working on election protection efforts in Wisconsin.

The lawsuit was one of several in states around the country challenging election results after President Donald Trump’s loss to president-elect Joe Biden.

On Friday, the Trump campaign lost two of those challenges in courts in Michigan and Pennsylvania and dropped a challenge in Arizona.

On Monday, voters in Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania also dropped lawsuits alleging voter fraud.

“The suits mirrored one another and were all backed by the law firm of a nationally known conservative attorney, James Bopp Jr.,” CNN reports. “In Michigan and Pennsylvania, the cases had also gone hand in hand with ones brought by the Trump campaign.”

Whether or not the collapse of the Wisconsin lawsuit is a sign that the Trump campaign is giving up on its claims that the election was stolen is not clear, says Mandell, because “it’s not clear from the outside how carefully coordinated Bopp is with the Trump campaign or the RNC.

“I will note the case in Wisconsin was dismissed without prejudice,” Mandell added. “That means they could still refile these claims or claims making similar arguments.”

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Ruth Conniff
Ruth Conniff

Ruth Conniff is Editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Examiner. Conniff is a frequent guest on MSNBC and has appeared on Good Morning America, Democracy Now!, Wisconsin Public Radio, CNN, Fox News and many other radio and television outlets. She has also written for The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, among other publications. Her book "Milked: How an American Crisis Brought Together Midwestern Dairy Farmers and Mexican Workers" won the 2022 Studs and Ida Terkel Award from The New Press.