Beleaguered State judge Mike Gableman has until tomorrow to counter the Wisconsin Judicial Commission's rebuttal to his attempt to have the ethics case against him dropped.
It appears that Gableman's impending response will be the last paper filing before the matter is finally set for a public hearing in front of a three-judge panel. The judges and the venue, Waukesha County, have long since been selected and it's about time Wisconsinites are entertained to Gableman's oral presentations.
According to the WJC, a teevee advertisement approved by Gableman during his 2008 election campaign "contains a false statement of fact that [Gableman] made intentionally or with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity."
Doing so is a violation of the Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct for which Gableman may face a number of sanctions, including his removal from the Supreme Court.
Gableman has continued to insist variously that all of the messages contained in the ad were "true" and even if they weren't, whatever he said or implied is protected by the First Amendment.
Ironically, Gableman and his well heeled supporters had referred disparagingly to some provisions of the Constitution and other statutory protections as "loopholes" and "technicalities."
But apparently they come in mighty handy once you find yourself the respondent in a disciplinary proceeding.
In the meantime, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has reportedly hired Gableman's campaign manager, Darrin Schmitz, as his political spokesperson. Schmitz is a real class act.
And according to Van Hollen's website, his campaign treasurer is Margaret Farrow, another Gableman supporter who helped spread misinformation and falsehoods about former Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler. It's quite the little gang State Republicans have here.
Over the last couple of years I've had occasion to meet a lot of lawyers who know Louis Butler and have known him for decades. Without exception they have nothing but the highest praise for his skill and integrity as a lawyer, as a judge, and as a person.
I've always maintained that the 2008 judicial election was a travesty and that impression is only reinforced by the regard his peers have for Butler. It's an absolute disgrace how Gableman and his supporters and enablers attempted to destroy this man's good character.
Gableman needs to pay something for that.