Recent decisions have both undercut the government’s legitimacy and endangered the people
A failed state is one that can no longer claim legitimacy or perform a government’s core function of protecting the people’s basic security. Lately, the Wisconsin supreme court seems to be doing its level best to make its state qualify for “failed” status. Multiple decisions have both undermined the government’s legitimacy and endangered the people.
First, there was the primary. Because voting in person is clearly risky during a pandemic, several states delayed their primaries to make sure everyone was able to mail in a vote instead of having to go to a polling place. Not so Wisconsin. The state’s Democratic governor signed an executive ordering for an all mail-in election but was frustrated by the Republican legislature. Then the governor issued an ordering postponing the election. Republicans challenged it, and the Wisconsin supreme court sided with them. The primary went forward, but was a disaster: there were “long pipelines in Milwaukee, where simply five polling places in the whole city were open” and more than 50 people appear to have contracted coronavirus as a result. Ensuring that people can vote without risking their lives is a basic role of government, one at which Wisconsin failed.
Read more: theguardian.com