The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the Green Party’s presidential candidate will not appear on the state’s presidential ballot, a decision that came as a sigh of relief to election officials who had worried that a wholesale reprinting of thousands of ballots could bring chaos to an already stressed electoral system.
The decision against the candidate, Howie Hawkins, also could provide a small but potentially significant lift to Joseph R. Biden Jr., whose Democratic allies had expressed concern that the presence of a third-party progressive candidate on the ballot could siphon votes away from Mr. Biden and help President Trump.
Both the Biden and Trump campaigns view a path to victory through Wisconsin, which Mr. Trump carried by less than 23,000 votes in 2016.
Days before the start of mail voting, the court ruled that Mr. Hawkins and his running mate, Angela Walker, had waited too long to appeal a decision from the Wisconsin Elections Commission that denied their placement on the ballot, giving the court no recourse.
“Given their delay in asserting their rights, we would be unable to provide meaningful relief without completely upsetting the election,” the court ruled.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission had denied the request on Aug. 20 because of a discrepancy in Ms. Walker’s address on petitions, and it took the Green Party candidates two weeks to file a request for review with the court. The request was filed on Sept. 3.
The court did not rule on the merits of the Green Party case, but concluded that the candidates’ delay in a situation with “very short deadlines” made it impossible to grant the motion without causing “confusion and undue damage to both the Wisconsin electors who want to vote and the other candidates in all the various races on the general election ballot.”
In an interview on Sunday, Mr. Hawkins said his campaign had been working to find a lawyer to take its case to the State Supreme Court and had reached out to a number of progressive lawyers before finally finding a firm that would take the case, acknowledging that the firm was a conservative one whose representation was being financed by an unnamed conservative benefactor.
More than a million Wisconsin voters have already requested absentee ballots, and the prospect of an enormous reprinting would have affected every county and municipal election official in the state.
President Trump arrived in California in a smoky haze on Monday and promptly blamed the wildfires ravaging the West Coast not on climate change but on the failure by western states to properly manage their forests.
“When trees fall down after a short period of time, they become very dry — really like a matchstick,” the president told reporters after disembarking from Air Force One at Sacramento McClellan Airport, where the stench of…