Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Court's 'Orderly Appellate Review' On Voter ID Signaled Last Year

These lines from tough dissents as reported by the State Journal about last year's controversial rushed-to-judgement collective bargaining decision presaged Monday's Court order that appellate courts complete their reviews of two separate Voter ID injunctions before the Supreme Court weighs in:

In her dissent, Abrahamson said the high court erred in taking the case up directly instead of waiting for one party or the other to appeal a lower court's ruling. She singled out Prosser, whose concurrence, she wrote, "is long on rhetoric and long on story-telling that appears to have a partisan slant."

Abrahamson said she agreed with Justice Patrick Crooks' separate dissent, that the case should come to the Supreme Court as part of an "orderly appellate review of the circuit court's order with a full opinion."

"Only with a reasoned, accurate analysis can a court assure the litigants and the public that a decision is made on the basis of facts and law," Abrahamson wrote, "free from a judge's personal ideology and free from external pressure by the executive or legislative branches, by partisan political parties, by public opinion or by special interest groups."

Crooks wrote that the majority reached "a hasty decision" that doesn't address important questions about the Legislature's constitutional requirements to provide public access to its hearings and the courts' role in holding it to those requirements.

"Those who would rush to judgment on these matters are essentially taking the position that getting this opinion out is more important than doing it right and getting it right," he wrote. "It is rather astonishing that the court would choose to decide such an unusual and complex case without benefit of a complete record."

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