A federal judge doesn’t believe he has the legal authority to postpone Wisconsin’s April 7 elections. But U.S. District Judge William Conley clearly wishes he could.

During a lengthy video hearing on Wednesday, Conley said that holding the election is “a really a bad public policy idea and they should stop it,” because of the risks associated with COVID-19.

The “they” Conley was referring to: Democratic Governor Tony Evers and Republican leaders in the legislature, who Conley said had abdicated their responsibilities and refused to “step up” during a crisis.

The judge said if anyone contracts COVID-19 while participating next Tuesday, that “will be on the hands of the Legislature and the governor.”

Conley said he’d consider some changes to how the election is conducted, but may not issue a decision until closer to Election Day.

On the ballot are the state’s presidential preference primary, the election for Wisconsin Supreme Court, and hundreds of local elected offices.

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