The Wisconsin Elections Commission denied a lawsuit brought by the owner of Minocqua Brewing Company to ban former President Trump from appearing on the Wisconsin primary ballot.
Kirk Bangstad, the owner of a brewing company, attempted to remove Trump from the ballot under section three of the Fourteenth Amendment, which would prohibit anyone who engaged in insurrection or rebellion from holding public office.
In an email to the brewing firm, WEC Staff Attorney Angela O’Brien Sharpe claimed that the complaint was being dismissed without review by the commission, stating that the WEC cannot make a formal judgment for an allegation about the agency itself.
“It is the position of the Commission that a complaint against the Commission, against Commissioners in their official capacities, or against Commission staff, warrants an ethical recusal by the body,” O’Brien Sharpe said in a written statement.
“The Commission’s position reflects the need to avoid conflicts associated with an adjudicative body deciding a matter brought against itself, similar to the provisions of law and ethics precluding a judge from presiding over a case filed against herself, or someone with personal or professional ties to her.”
Bangstad believed the WEC would dismiss the complaint at the time of filing.
“The organization was created to specifically not be able to decide that because they have three Democrats and three partisan Republicans on the committee who will not be able to vote on this in concert,” Bangstad went on to say.
Bangstad told WMTV 15 News in an email that he wants to file a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court early next week after the charge was dismissed.
The decision comes as Maine’s Democratic Secretary of State removed former President Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot under the Constitution’s insurrection clause on Thursday, becoming the first election official to act unilaterally as the United States Supreme Court prepares to rule on whether Trump can continue his campaign.