The appeals court judges who ruled against Trump on Thursday were all Republican appointees. The author of the court’s opinion, Judge Michael Scudder, was appointed by Trump.
Scudder said the election changes were not significant enough to run afoul of the Constitution’s provision that state legislatures determine the manner of selecting presidential electors. He also faulted Trump for challenging those provisions after the election, rather than before.
“The President had a full opportunity before the election to press the very challenges to Wisconsin law underlying his present claims. Having foregone that opportunity, he cannot now — after the election results have been certified as final — seek to bring those challenges,” Scudder wrote. “All of this is especially so given that the Commission announced well in advance of the election the guidance he now challenges.”
The federal appeals court said it was not its role to enforce the details of state law, but to ensure that the basic scheme the state legislature approved was adhered to.