Monday, February 25, 2008

One Wisconsin Now On The Gableman Trail

One Wisconsin Now blogger Cory Liebmann, source of much of the investigative reporting that landed Annette Ziegler in hot water with the State Judicial Commission last year over ethical issues, has turned his attention to the State Supreme Court candidacy of Burnett County Circuit Judge Michael Gableman.

This may not turn out well for Gableman, whose entry into the state judiciary took a rather unusual route, and which is now raising more questions as his explanations are vetted and documents are unearthed.

Gableman won his appointment to a Burnett County seat on the bench while living in another county, after making campaign contributions and helping host a fundraiser for Governor Scott McCallum.

Additionally, McCallum did not use the standard process when he gave Gableman the appointment.

Details here.

More information about One Wisconsin Now (OWN), here.

For some perspective, imagine for a moment if Gableman was a Democrat and got his initial appointment to the bench from a Democratic Governor under the same circumstances that are now emerging.

You get the picture. There'd be righteous, rightwing talk radio, blogger and newspaper editorial hell to pay.

(Standard disclosure with regards to any posting regarding OWN: I sit on an OWN board, but play no role in Cory's blogging.)


sisterspitfire said...

I personally voted for Gableman because I am tired of judges deciding cases on what they want the law to mean, not the original intent. I want to see cases decided on whether or not it is the current law, and/or whether the law is actually UNCONSTITUTIONAL under the original intent of the constitution. I want a more conservative court that is NOT going to try to make law through the judiciary, but instead, abide by what the law is.

James Rowen said...

Dear Sisterspitfire:

Since the Constitution was written more than 200 years ago, and people and things evolve, we want judges to interpret those words as they read them.

Life is full of grey areas.

Plus: if you asked judges to rule on the literal language only, you couldn't get any decisions out of the Court on any media freedom or restraint beyond "press," since radio, TV, film, wireless, and internet weren't around back then.

Many Constitutional words are ambiguous.

Look at all the disagreement over the wording in the 2nd amendment, some of which is due to what we now would say is outdated cadence.

And there is far less relevancy today to the term "militia."

Judges have to interpret. They are human beings. They get trained in law schools to think critically. We need that on the bench. We want people there, not robots.

Conservative judges interpret, thus are activist, and so are liberal judges.

We just disagree on which activism, or route of interpretation, is best.

sisterspitfire said...

I still prefer that if they err, they err on the side of caution and restraint, and not with an intent to make it say what they would prefer it to say.

James Rowen said...

Dear Sister;

Again, it's all relative.