With practically comic predictability, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Randy Koschnick has seized vigorously at an extremely biased report that appeared via the Associated Press yesterday.
So devastating is this non-story that he's even bumped his appeal to a local conservative icon, Marquette law professor Rick Esenberg (concurring in the judgment), off the main page of his website.
Judge Koschnick, perhaps experiencing great discomfort because Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson's reelection committee is raising the lucre at a rate of 56 to one, is "shocked," according to his campaign person Seamus Flaherty, who doesn't even seem to know what a "party" to a civil action is (it isn't the representing law firm, just as a prolific criminal defense lawyer doesn't stand charged with dozens of felonies).
As is often the case, Judge Koschnick wants it both ways.
On the one hand, he constantly accuses Chief Justice Abrahamson of "judicial activism" and "legislating from the bench" for, inter alia, holding that a statutory limit on certain medical malpractice damage awards was a violation of equal protection.
In fact, that constant and tedious accusal is just about the complete extent of his entire campaign platform.
That is to say, according to Koschnick's own continuous portrayal of the Chief Justice, she is already "philosophically" predisposed toward the plaintiffs in this case, campaign contributions notwithstanding.
If Koschnick is correct as he apparently believes he is, then the plaintiff's attorneys needn't direct either their written briefs or oral presentation to the Chief Justice at all, but rather toward the so-called "conservatives" on the court, who are more likely to rule with the defendant physician and his insurance company.
(Which is, by the way, Koschnick's insinuated promise as well.)
Those are the justices the plaintiff's attorneys need to persuade, not the Chief, according to Judge Koschnick's own oft-stated premises.
Yet Koschnick is very strongly implying that the Chief's ultimate disposition in the case will be influenced by the perfectly legal contributions of the Cannon & Dunphy attorneys. It's a reckless and desperate suggestion, for which Koschnick provides no grounds.
More significantly, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and that lack of sense is supported by Koschnick's own reasoning.
Obviously, if William Cannon et al really wanted to improve their chances at prevailing — following the implications of Koschnick's sense of money influence — then they would have made their contributions to, for example, Michael Gableman, Koschnick's fellow "strict constructionist" and crusader against "judicial activism."
But no. As Mr. Cannon told the AP, he's made the perfectly legal contributions to Abrahamson's reelection committee because she is by several leagues the more qualified candidate for the position.
Is this the sort of incoherent, double-dealing logic Judge Koschnick intends on applying at the State Supreme Court? Lord help us all.
* Upgraded from "troubled."