February 3, 2009

WRtL backs activist Koschnick

The Wisconsin Right to Life Committee, the state's highest profile anti-abortion rights group, is betting that Jefferson County Judge Randy Koschnick will be more actively supportive of its agenda than Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.
It's true, if WRtL believes Koschnick, in his capacity as a State court judge, can start knocking down 44 years worth of federal case law in furtherance of some PAC's agenda, he'll get his picture in the Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court under "judicial activism."

Then again, maybe WRtL should catch Koschnick's act on the stump, where he complains about judges overturning decades of precedent.

(They can catch him tomorrow at high noon at the Milwaukee Bar Association, although Chief Justice Abrahamson won't be there.)


Anonymous said...

C'mon on it: do you really think the courts are better today then they were 30 years ago when CJ Abramson took the bench?

It’s time for a change!

illusory tenant said...

Yes! More judges who are unaware of the law yet nevertheless unafraid to describe it.

Anonymous said...

Clever answer. :)

Anonymous said...

To the first commenter, yes the courts, and in particular the Wisconsin Supreme Court are significantly better than they were 30 years ago.

Abrahamson's early years on the court were filled with justices fighting with each, case assignments being given based on cliques, and it often took years for opinions to be released.

Since she has been the Chief Justice, she's randomized the case assignment process (thus weakening a traditional power of the chief justice), she's forced the court to release opinions within the term they were argued, and she's randomized assignments for lower court judges to committees or leadership positions. In short, she's made the entire institution more efficient and more fair.

The overall judicial system is functioning much more effectively than it ever used to. Instead of wielding the chief justice role for power, she uses it to implement positive changes. Anyone that thinks things are the same or worse now than they used to be just doesn't understand how bad things used to be with our court system.

She is a staunch fiscal conservative and is always looking for ways to cut the cost of running the judiciary. That cannot be said for the other branches of government, or the court before she became chief.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:56 -

I will not argue regarding improved efficiency in the courts because I believe that we all have become more efficient with technology that has become available during those years. It would be arguable in determining who deserves credit for it.

Do you think people’s confidences in the State courts are higher or lower now then when she took the bench?

illusory tenant said...

How about lower, since the last two "conservatives" were and are the subjects of ethics investigations.

Anonymous said...

it -

I agree on lower but not that Gableman is one of its causes.

I think thirty years without accountability has more to do with the lack of confidence in the courts.

William Tyroler said...

last two "conservatives" were and are the subjects of ethics investigations

Indeed. But let's not forget Jon Wilcox, whose example shows that this has been on for too long:

In 1997, Jon Wilcox won election handily over ACLU attorney Walt Kelley. However after the election, Walt Kelley filed a complaint to the former Wisconsin State Elections Board, now the Wisconsin Government Accountablity Board that alleged that Wilcox's campaign illegally coordinated last-minute get-out-the-vote efforts with the supposedly independent Wisconsin Citizens for Voter Participation. State law bans any coordination orcooperation between independent groups like the coalition and a candidate orcandidate's campaign organization.

As part of the largest collective settlement of a case involving state campaign finance law violations, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Jon Wilcox has agreed to personally pay a $10,000 fine on behalf of his 1997 re-election campaign.

illusory tenant said...

Yes, but more importantly, what was Justice Wilcox's "pro-criminal" percentage?

John Foust said...

Wilcox? Lots of familiar names in that one, if you dig, or like details. Block had a blog for a while but it doesn't seem to be up today. Maybe it disappeared down the memory hole. Maybe he's running for office.

illusory tenant said...

banned from Wisconsin politics for three years ...

Whoa. That must have taken some serious effort.

Oh, and:

Pickens [banned for five years] is the former director of the WI Christian Coalition


Anonymous said...

Yes, it appears they're many good reasons we need a change.