Wisconsin governor suspends in-person voting for primary

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Brand well because of current virus Wisconsin governor Tony Evers has suspended in person voting in tomorrow's presidential primary he's a Democrat and his order comes after nearly a week of back and forth with Republicans in the state legislature there they rejected a request from the governor to postpone the primary like other states have meanwhile the Supreme Court is weighing a lower court judge's order to extend Wisconsin's deadline to submit absentee ballots Jessica Levinson is here to talk about all this with us she's a law professor at Loyola law school in a regular legal legal hello hello well let's begin with even order it postpones in person voting and he did that unilaterally does he have the authority to do that I'm gonna give you everybody's least favorite law professor answer we're not sure and I actually think we're gonna be saying that a lot over the next few months I mean there's going to be a big issue of trying to secure elections and protect elections in the time of a global pandemic and so does the governor have the power to unilaterally change the election date spent a lot of I've been back in Wisconsin about that I hate to say it but we'll know when a judge rules on whether or not that's permissible right and Republicans have resisted that why have they resisted postponing in person voting right so there's no question that legally speaking if the Republican controlled legislature had decided that yes we will postpone the date of the election that that would have been permissible that they as a state as the representatives of the state could have done that what they've said is that we can't postpone for a couple reasons one they said it's not just the presidential primary that's on the ballot it's also a lot of state and local races and we don't want those to stand vacant now Inc in the governor's executive order he said they don't have to stand vacant I'm just going to extend the terms of the state and local officials what the Republicans have also said is that they don't want this huge change an influx of vote by mail because they're worried about issues of fraud and essentially that the election would lack integrity I think all of us frankly the studies on that indicate that those aren't real fears that we don't have to worry about voter fraud date what's much a much bigger worry is making sure that everybody who wants to vote actually camp out right and so along those lines there's also this dispute over absentee ballots a federal judge extended the deadline in Wisconsin and that was upheld by the federal by a federal appeals court but now the Republicans have appealed to the US Supreme Court what's going on there with the absentee ballot dispute yeah what's going on there is there's two parallel tracks one there's a legal track that we were just talking about which is this argument by Republican lawmakers that it really infringes on the integrity of the election to do things like increase vote by mail or route increase the amount of time that you would have to return your ballot and that's kind of the legal argument that's going up and back the second track is really a political one where for Democrats it's better if there's more time if more people show up for Republicans it's really a big game if we don't count those vote by mail if we don't extend the time there's a really big judicial action in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Republicans have I believe the reporting is openly said you know it might have been actually better to have the selection when it's a lower turnout so we're sure we can keep that particular seat this is really a preview of I think a lot of what we might see in the fall these parallel tract arguments on the one hand legal on the other hand political okay let's turn to another story in the news right now in the midst of this huge pandemic at least six conservative states of trying to restrict access to abortion a federal District Court judges blocks nearly all of those orders but not in Texas the fifth circuit court of appeals left aligned Texas go into a fact on a temporary basis so I know a lot of states are saying no to elective medical procedures right now but there seems to be at a time difference here rate when it comes to having an abortion is not considered an elective procedure but not by the American college of obstetricians and gynecologists in so it's gonna feel like deja vu all over again from about forty five seconds ago but what we're seeing in this case is also two different arguments one is the legal argument of whether or not you can basically prohibit and or postpone these abortions the other is really the political argument a lot of Republican controlled states trying to restrict access to an abortion so you know to your question is this really an elective procedure no it really my understanding is medically is not considered an elective procedure and of course there is a much different timeline when it comes to an abortion at a certain point out you've waited so long that it might be for instance illegal under the state's loss to happen abortion in so this brings up again this kind of Wu Ming fight at the Supreme Court at some point we'll have to take up about the contours of abortion rights what grounds on what grounds did the court of appeals let the Texas law go into effect yes so what the Texas court said and as you said this was really an out liar decision every other federal court that's taken the sap has said no you can't implement these types of prohibitions or restrictions Texas court said as the state has the power to do that looking at the states broad police powers to do things like limit the number of elective procedures you have to do other things like we talk about all the time like closing restaurants cook closing schools that it would fall within that power so I think the conservative fifth circuit really kind of went out on a limb and frankly I don't think the ruling is consistent with the current standard they Casey versus Planned Parenthood distinct standard so do you think the Supreme Court will take this one up when it convenes at when and if it reconvenes physically and or virtually it you know it depends on how long this particular prohibition is in place but I think it's gonna be really hard for the court to avoid this they may try and issue some very short opinion which basically says this isn't consistent with our current standard and then wait for a bigger case to come before them to really make the decision about whether or not states can essentially say there's an emergency exception to the current standard that there's an emergency

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