November 26, 2008


Madison's Capital Times this morning runs a couple of paragraphs about James Bopp, Jr., the Indiana lawyer who is handling the Wisconsin Judicial Commission's complaint against Mike Gableman.

Beneath the headline Gableman hires anti-abortion attorney to fight ethics charges, the Cap Times reporter infers:
If there was any question as to where newly elected Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman stands on abortion or, for that matter, on a host of other social issues, his choice of attorney should provide some clues.
I don't know about that. Obviously abortion has nothing to do with the present action* and Bopp, Jr. is one of the go-to guys nationally on any number of right-wing causes célèbre.

Rather, it was Gableman himself who telegraphed his stances with the magic phrases "judicial conservative" and "plain language of the law," recited ad nauseam throughout his campaign (as if only "judicial conservatives" begin their inquiries with the "plain language of the law" — the point is, the plain language of two laws conflicting often creates ambiguities, which are what appeals courts are called upon to resolve, notwithstanding Gableman's sloganeering).

In any event, so long as the Roe v. Wade line of cases stands and Democrats control both Wisconsin legislative bodies, Gableman's legal opinion on abortion is unlikely to see the light of day.

Then again, if Gableman manages to survive his ten-year term and the tail end of it is served under President Sarah Palin along with Chief Justice Joe the Plumber, that could change.

Miles DavisBoplicity (1949)

* Although some of the cases Bopp is likely to rely on in support of his First Amendment argument do. Not abortion per se, but the right of electioneering judges to speak about their views during campaigns.


Terrence Berres said...

"(as if only 'judicial conservatives' begin their inquiries with the 'plain language of the law'...")

Or as Justice Butler once put it, "I tend to be a textualist in the mold of a Hugo Black or
Antonin Scalia."

illusory tenant said...

Shorter McIlheran: I don't have the foggiest idea what any of this means, but here's what some other carefully selected people said.