Wisconsin Supreme Court allows Dean Phillips to challenge Biden for nomination

 February 3, 2024

Most polls suggest that Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips is very much an underdog in his quest to take the Democratic Party's nomination.

Yet in what could prove to be bad news for President Joe Biden, the Wisconsin Supreme Court announced this past week that Phillips' name can appear on ballots in the state.

Friday's ruling overturns earlier decision to keep Phillips from running

According to The Washington Times, the ruling came down on Friday and reversed an earlier decision by a bipartisan presidential selection committee to exclude Phillips.

Phillips challenged the attempt to keep him out of the election, arguing in court that state law grants ballot access to  candidates who are "generally advocated or recognized in the national news media."

"As we fight Trump’s attacks on democracy we must also be vigilant against efforts by people in our own Party to do the same," the Times quoted Phillips as saying in a statement released last Monday.

"Voters should choose the nominee of our Party without insiders trying to rig the process for Joe Biden," the Democratic congressman went on to insist.

Democratic committee members picked Biden as sole candidate with no discussion

The Times noted that attorneys representing the state's Department of Justice argued in response that the presidential selection committee has sole authority to determine who may appear on state ballots.

However, justices on Wisconsin's highest judicial body determined that the committee's Democratic members did not properly exercise their discretion.

They listed Biden as the sole party's sole candidate during a meeting that lasted just five minutes and lacked any discussion.

"We conclude that the Presidential Preference Selection Committee erroneously exercised its discretion under (state law) with respect to Phillips," the ruling declared.

Poll shows big enthusiasm gap between supporters of Trump and Biden

While there is so far little evidence to suggest that Phillips has any realistic chance of beating Biden, his campaign could expose weaknesses that the president would rather keep hidden.

One of them is a lackluster sense of enthusiasm among Democrats for his candidacy, something which was highlighted last month in a poll released by USA Today and Suffolk University.

The survey found that whereas 44% of GOP primary voters said they were "very enthusiastic" about supporting former President Donald Trump, just 18% said the same about Biden.

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