Win or Lose Today, the WMC Will Be Back Big-Time in '08
The same groups pouring millions into today's effort to put Annette Ziegler - - a member of one of southeastern Wisconsin's leading business and financial families - - on the state's highest court will be right back at it next year when Justice Louis Butler's term expires.
A Ziegler win today and a Butler defeat next year would solidfy a conservative majority on the court.
But defeating Butler would be a tougher task than electing Ziegler to an open seat; he became the court's first African-American justice in 2004 through gubernatorial appointment, and is widely respected throughout the state's legal community.
A former Milwaukee Municipal and Circuit Court judge, Butler graduated from the UW-Madison Law School and is popular in both cities.
Never the less, look to the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce to find and finance another Ziegleresque candidate (though surely one better attuned to the state's judicial code of ethics and Political Smarts 101), because to that group, ideology and bottom line self-interest trumps everything else.
Judge Michael Brennan will be Justice Butler's opponent in '08. He has been making the rounds and saying all the right things for a conservative: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=359831
It will be a very difficult fight for Butler, even with the benefit of incumbancy.
Judge Michael Brennan is not a conservative-- he is a republican. True conservatives believe in the law- Mike Brennan believes in the state. Conservatives jurists are re-establishing the rights of the people as opposed to the state. You can see this in Scalias recent efforts regarding sentencing guidelines, the right to a jury, and the confrontation clause. Try to find a case where Brennan has been "conservative" and ruled against the state. He is a nice guy, but he would be just another republican politician on the bench.
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