Andrew McCarthy at National Review:
The most telling aspect of the Wisconsin federal district court’s rejection of another Trump campaign lawsuit on Saturday is so obvious it is easy to miss. And no, it is not that the rejecting was done by a Trump-appointed judge, Brett H. Ludwig, or that it was done on the merits.
With the Electoral College meeting just days away, the Court declined to address the issues in piecemeal fashion and instead provided plaintiff with an expedited hearing on the merits of his claims. On the morning of the hearing, the parties reached agreement on a stipulated set of facts and then presented arguments to the Court.
A “stipulated set of facts,” in this context, is an agreement between the lawyers for the adversary parties about what testimony witnesses would give, and/or what facts would be established, if the parties went through the process of calling witnesses and offering tangible evidence at a hearing or trial.
In a real controversy, in which one or both of the parties are making hotly disputed factual claims, there are few if any stipulations. For example, a defendant who vehemently denies that he committed stock fraud may be willing to stipulate that 20,000 shares of XYZ Corp’s common stock were sold on December 14; but other than that, the defendant will demand that the adversary call the fact witnesses who claim he defrauded them so he can cross-examine. He will call his own witnesses to show what really happened, and they will be aggressively questioned, too….