Monday, March 27, 2017

Watchdog group urges stronger WI Supreme Court recusal rule

You may remember that the conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court had adopted a recusal rule - - actually, more of a blank permission slip - -  that allows its members to sit on cases even if they had received campaign contributions from a party before them.

That earned our troubled Court

Seal of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.svg
widespread criticism and brought about a petition to the Court from dozens of retired judges who urged that the rule be rewritten.

I had posted about the retired judges' petition, here.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, (WDC) had also reported on the judges' petition and today followed through with a strong, detailed comment to the court that explains why a rewrite of the flawed rule is needed.

I urge you to read the WDC comment in full, here, and note its four key points:

1. The reputations of the retired judges submitting it.

2. The tattered reputation of the Wisconsin Supreme Court stems largely from the 2010 recusal rule the Court adopted and applied.

3. The Court’s rationale for its recusal rule has been undermined by its own decision in the John Doe II case and subsequent legislation.

4. The Court’s recusal rule is at odds with the U.S. Supreme Court’s instructions.


Raven said...

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? [Who watches the watchmen?]

When a court can write all its own rules, what happens if it becomes dominated by corrupt judges?

Will that corrupt majority not rewrite the rules to permit openly corrupt decisions?

Reader, if you say not, why not?

Not requiring recusal from cases where a judge has financial interests (e.g. a campaign donor is one of the disputants) is not just a clear example, but the classical example, of such a rewrite.

Unfortunately, this legislature and governor have no interest in restraining the Court — because it serves their interests. A united party government at work!

Jonathan Swift said...

Raven well said. "A united party government at work!" One party rule works well for the people of N,Korea, Iran, Russia and Wisconsin and now unfortunately the US.
The WMC court had to stop the John Doe hearings and try to have the evidence destroyed. If allowed to continue at least or perhaps several would have become defendants. The leaked GUARDIAN documents contained a signed confession of one of the WMC 5.