Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Key cases headed for right-tilted WI Supreme Court

Walker legacy runoff from oversized feedlots and dirty legislation has flowed onto the dockets of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Major cases involving gubernatorial powers and environmental impacts of large-scale animal feeding operations are being taken up by the high court.

A few things about these cases to keep in mind.

* The seven-member court is currently tilted to the right 4-3. The election of the right-wing appellate judge and former Gov. Walker chief legal counsel Brian Hagedorn to a 10-year term which begins in August will enhance the right's (read: GOP's) dominance. 

Sure, it's impossible to predict how the high court will rule, but WI GOP Assembly Leader and ultra-partisan Robin Vos recently said he could not wait for Hagedorn to take his seat long-held by outgoing Justice and liberal icon Shirley Abrahamason, so bet accordingly.

* Speaking of Walker, it was his administration's enabling of expanded large-scale animal feeding operations which produced the case which the high court has agreed to hear.
Kinnard Farms CAFO Water Pollution Permit Challenge - - Citizens of the Town of Lincoln, Kewaunee County are concerned that the Kinnard Farms Inc. plan to manage 70 million gallons of untreated animal waste doesn’t protect groundwater from contamination.
If the operator prevails, more large-scale, so-called CAFOs will apply for new or expanded permits producing both more groundwater depletion and contamination of what remains. And runoff, like this incident in Kewaunee County, a/k/a CAFO/Toxic-Water Ground Zero:
All part of Walker's legacy and Team Evers' cleanup responsibilities. If allowed.

* As are the lame-duck power grab cases the high court will be hearing; those bills were rushed through the Legislature with Walker's cooperation and hurried signatures.

* A final word: The Wisconsin Supreme Court, allowed to write its own codes governing conflict-of-interest, adopted during the Walker years a no-fault conflict-of-interest standard proposed by the Wisconsin Manufactures & Commerce and Wisconsin Realtors Association. 

Those group share a deep, vested interest in Walkerism, and in maintaining it despite his defeat through self-interested lame-duck legislation and pro-Walker litigation.

* For the full story on Walker's eight-year war on the environment, I offer you this 21-part series, and the installment on CAFOs.

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