Thursday, April 20, 2017

Wisconsin Supreme Court reifies 'judge shopping'

In Wisconsin courtrooms, you're going to need a good lawyer and a good credit score.

In the drug stores, Wisconsin clerks ask, 'paper or plastic?'

At the mall, it's 'credit or debit?'

In Wisconsin courts, the question is now 'donor or fool?,' as the 5-2 conservative majority on the State Supreme Court today rejected any reconsideration of rules they adopted a few years ago that said they could hear cases involving campaign donors with no need for recusal.

Seal of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.svg

The justices voted 5-2 to toss aside a rule change proposed in January by 54 retired jurists that would have forced judges off of cases involving those who helped get them on the bench. Conservatives who control the court said the proposal would interfere with the free speech rights of those who run ads and engage in other campaign-like activity.
Those rules were written for state judges by big donor organizations like the Wisconsin Realtors and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce - - a topic I've discussed on this blog - - at the request of the State Supreme Court after rejecting a recusal rule draft submitted by the League of Women Voters.

Justice in Wisconsin is now on a par with selling on eBay, as t
he Supreme Court has adopted Scott Walker 'chamber of commerce mentality' governance produced in part by the statewide chamber of commerce.

From now on, the only conflict of interest that's relevant for parties in the courtroom is, 'how much new interest can I afford to take on?' 

And since the Court bought the argument that campaign donations are free speech that should not be limited, the judicious thing to do before heading to court would be checking your bank balances and credit card limits.

Also update your definition of 'judge shopping.'


Anonymous said...

James, your idea that justices who receive contributions from a party in a dispute should recuse is an excellent one. From now on, each year WMC just donates to liberal justices, who then must leave all decisions on WMC issues to conservative justices only.

Anonymous said...

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is a national laughingstock.