Madison — The Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered the state elections commission not to send the presidential primary ballot to county clerks on Thursday while considering Democratic U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips' bid to run.
The order comes six days after Phillips sought the court to add his name to the battleground state's ballot after state Democratic leaders on a presidential selection committee didn't. The sole Democrat on the April 2 ballot is President Joe Biden.
The Supreme Court's one-sentence decision Thursday warned the Wisconsin Elections Commission not to send the ballot until further notice. The court has heard arguments from Phillips, the elections commission, and the presidential selection committee but has not ruled.
In court documents Wednesday, state Department of Justice attorneys for the elections commission and presidential selection committee said that Philllips' appeal should be denied because he filed it too late.
To provide ballots to military and foreign voters by Feb. 15, county clerks must draft and distribute them “as soon as possible,” attorneys urged.
They requested that the court dismiss Phillips' case by Friday because “it will become increasingly difficult each day for the clerks to feasibly get the ballots ready, delivered, and mailed on time.”
Elections commission spokeswoman Riley Vetterkind did not comment on the court's ruling. Phillips, who represents Minnesota in Congress, is the sole Democrat facing Biden in the primary.
Phillips claims in his complaint that the Wisconsin Presidential Preference Selection Committee and Wisconsin Election Commission unjustly denied his request to appear on the ballot. Biden, Trump, and five Republican challengers—four of whom have dropped out—were on the ballot by the committee.
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