A split Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday declined to hear President Trump's lawsuit attempting to overturn his election loss to Joe Biden in the battleground state, sidestepping a decision on the merits of the claims and instead ruling that the case must first wind its way through lower courts. The 4-3 ruling was the latest in a string of losses for Trump’s post-election lawsuits, the AP reports. Trump asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state's two biggest Democratic counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered. His lawsuit echoed claims that were earlier rejected by election officials in those counties during a recount that barely affected Biden’s winning margin of about 20,700 votes.
Trump attorney Jim Troupis said he would immediately file in circuit court. "It was clear from their writings that the court recognizes the seriousness of these issues, and we look forward to taking the next step," he said. In asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case directly, Trump had argued that there wasn't enough time to start with a lower court, given the Dec. 14 date when presidential electors cast their votes. Justice Brian Hagedorn, often a swing vote, joined three liberal justices in denying the petition without weighing in on Trump's allegations. Hagedorn said the law was clear that Trump must start his lawsuit in lower courts where factual disputes can be worked out. (Wisconsin certified Biden's victory on Monday.)