Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tainted WI Supreme Court process yielded Walker another win

Using documents provided by The Guardian, a Capital Times editorial today explained how the same secret coordination between GOP Gov. Scott Walker and dark money donors which aided his 2012 recall election win also slopped on to two Wisconsin Supreme Court justices who ruled - - after refusing to recuse themselves - - that a state investigative probe into the legality of that dark money network be shut down.
In a request that the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to shut down a John Doe inquiry into illegal campaign activity, a group of Wisconsin prosecutors argue that Prosser and Gableman should not have heard the case because their campaigns benefited from work by individuals and groups that were a focus of the investigation. “Under any reasonable reading,” the prosecutors argue, those involved in the case “did not receive a fair and impartial hearing” from Wisconsin’s high court.
No matter what action the U.S. Supreme Court takes with regard to evidence of bias and the abandonment of ethical standards by justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, there can no longer be any question that Wisconsin legislators, prosecutors and members of the state judicial commission have a responsibility to address clear evidence that Justice Gableman and retired Justice Prosser failed to respect and honor their positions as a public trust and, further, failed to strive to enhance and maintain confidence in our legal system.
But let's not forget that the tainted process provided yet another benefit to Walker and his cohort, and another stain on the State Supreme Court's integrity. 

Perhaps sensing that the controversy might dog him the rest of his term, Prosser. 73, resigned mid-term earlier this year and gave Walker the chance to choose, without any confirmation procedure, a replacement Justice into the year 2020 who is younger than Prosser, and even more ideologically and reliably hard-right:

Much of the coverage of this appointment has focused on an odd quote where Kelly compares affirmative action to slavery. “Affirmative action and slavery differ, obviously, in significant ways,” Kelly wrote in a book chapter the new justice included in his application to sit on the state’s highest court. “But it’s more a question of degree than principle, for they both spring from the same taproot. Neither can exist without the foundational principle that it is acceptable to force someone into an unwanted economic relationship. Morally, and as a matter of law, they are the same...”
It’s a very odd statement, in no small part because Kelly does not appear to understand what affirmative action is. In most cases, affirmative action is a voluntary program where business, universities, or other entities take steps to diversify their workforce or student body... 
More importantly, however, if Kelly were actually correct that there is some “foundational principle” that prohibits the state from requiring someone to enter “into an unwanted economic relationship,” then most American civil rights, labor and employment law would need to vanish.  
Minimum wage laws require employers to enter into an economic relationship where workers are paid a certain amount, despite the employer’s preference to enter into a different relationship where the workers are paid less. Anti-discrimination laws require employers to hire African-Americans, women, or other groups that the employer might despise. The federal ban on whites-only lunch counters forces restaurants to enter into an economic relationship by selling meals to customers the restaurant would prefer not to serve...
Given Gov. Walker’s well-known hostility towards unions, that may explain why he chose this obscure lawyer with highly idiosyncratic views for Wisconsin’s highest court.
You say there are no rewards for bad behavior.

Eagle Scout Walker would disagree.

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