Saturday, June 18, 2011

Calling State Ethics Legal-Eagles

Are members of the State of Wisconsin Supreme Court, their clerks, et al, bound by law, rules or code to keep confidential decisions-in-progress?

I'm throwing this out - - feel free to use the comment function - - in the context of whether information about the content, vote or timing of the ruling vindicating the State Senate's approval of the so-called " budget-repair bill," a/k/a Walker's union-busting plan. was leaked to legislators, talk show hosts or other politicos prior to its release last week?

The ruling and release absolved legislative Republicans from re-voting on the controversial measure and allowed them then to fast-track the rest of the budget with greater ease: Assembly leaders had publicly signaled to the Court that Tuesday afternoon was the legislators' deadline; the ruling was released while GOP assembly members were waiting in caucus, and others had predicted with confidence that the ruling would come down prior to legislators setting in motion their processes to re-vote.

The whole thing appeared choreographed.

Some discussion and background, here.

(Apparently that last link was broken. Working now. Sorry)


Anonymous said...

broken link... "here." And I really want to go there!

James Rowen said...

Sorry. Fixed. Thanks for letting me know.

Anonymous said...

Who can find it first: go!

James Rowen said...

To Anon, 4:37 p.m. Added in the text as a link at "rules" - - - - so, thanks.

gnarlytrombone said...

Looks like we amateurs will have to take a crack at it.

Code of Judicial Conduct 60.04(1)(e):

...A judge may not initiate, permit, engage in or consider ex parte communications concerning a pending or impending action or proceeding...

...The proscription against communications concerning a proceeding includes communications from lawyers, law teachers, and other persons who are not participants in the proceeding... To the extent reasonably possible, all parties or their lawyers shall be included in communications with a judge.

gnarlytrombone said...

Also: A judge must make reasonable efforts, including the provision of appropriate supervision, to ensure that SCR 60.04 (1) (g) is not violated through law clerks or other personnel on the judge's staff.