The Wisconsin Supreme Court threw out a proposal to create formal recusal rules for judges and justices in the state … 5-2, with Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley opposed … the court’s conservative-leaning majority voting to throw the petition out and the liberal-leaning wing voting to hold a public hearing on it, or adopt it immediately (for) all elected judges in the state who serve in municipal court, circuit court, the Court of Appeals or the state Supreme Court.
It proposed specific contribution thresholds for when a judge or justice would have to recuse himself or herself from a case … if they received $10,000 from a group or individual with a case in front of the court.
Justice Annette Ziegler: “The petitioners here have asked us to do something that doesn’t comport with the Constitution as I view it. Is there precedent that supports this somehow? And the answer is no.”
(The) 60 comments on the petition submitted to the court. (means there’s) high degree of public interest that warrants a public hearing on the issue, said Justice Ann Walsh Bradley. “What is so threatening about that?”
Justice Rebecca Bradley said the premise of the petition is false and an affront to the oath taken by Supreme Court justices and judges statewide. “We cannot consider the petition. To do so violates the oath that each of us took when we took our office.” It also disenfranchises voters statewide who should be free to contribute to judicial candidates without repercussions, she said. “It asks us to infringe the First Amendment rights of the people of Wisconsin who wish to support candidates,” she said.
Abrahamson called for a public hearing on the petition and Walsh Bradley called for it to be adopted immediately. Both motions were voted down after some discussion, which was tense at times.
“The issue is so important and to shut it down without a hearing and without comment just undermines the public trust and confidence that is so important for the integrity of this court,” said Walsh Bradley. “It goes to the heart of who we are as a court and what we believe.”
And you wonder why voters don’t trust the government. We can thanks our conservative activist Justices…maybe with donation exceeding $10,000?
A former liberal radio talk host who likes to ask the “follow-up question” at Democurmudgeon.blogspot.com
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