Monday, April 6, 2015

Bucky rocks the hardwood court, our courts lose court of public opinion

I continue to assert that the proposed amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution on Tuesday's ballot to change the method of designating the Wisconsin Supreme Court's Chief Justice is a purely partisan and ideological dose of spiteful payback for current Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson's liberal philosophy.

And for her unwillingness to rubber-stamp Scott Walker/GOP initiatives that led to new laws mandating Voter ID and rollbacks of public employee collective bargaining, among others.

The amendment would remove Abrahamson from the Chief Justiceship she holds fair and square through the seniority that comes with winning the most successive elections - - in other words, being the people's  continual choice as one corporately-funded/GOP-allied/right-wing effort after another failed to defeat and unseat her - - and give the Court's conservative majority the new power to choose the Chief.

The argument that Wisconsin suddenly needs to adopt  a selection method used by most other states is transparently irrelevant. Abrahamson's critics are so afraid of her that they cannot summon up the courage to be honest about their power play to diminish her..

The Court's reputation has fallen in recent years as the majority of Justices are behaving overtly like tools of the big right-wing groups which have financed or boosted their TV ad budgets and campaigns.

The majority has even let major campaign and supporting donors like the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce - - the state's largest business organization, much like a statewide chamber of commerce - - write a code of conflict-of-interest ethics that is about as transparently self-interested as is the Constitutional amendment which will further embed conservative, corporate influence if it is approved.

Wisconsin's basketball team is gaining prestige nationally in coaches' polls and on the hardwood court in Indianapolis, but Wisconsin's highest court in failing in the court of public opinion.

Actually, the fail in the court system isn't a matter of one side losing a fair game. It's a matter of one side changing the rules to suit itself after the game had started - - Abrahamson won her last election in 2009 by a margin of  59- 41 - - to fix the outcome.

 If the amendment passes Tuesday and the Chief Justice is relegated to the end of the bench, no one with a modicum of respect for the law and fair play will say "On, Wisconsin."

No comments: