A political action group conducted a petition drive in January asking [Justice Annette K.] Ziegler and [Mike] Gableman to remove themselves from the case because Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce submitted a friend of the court brief supporting Virnich and Moores.Notes the Wisconsin State Journal.
WMC spent $4 million in the last two elections to help elect Ziegler and Gableman to 10-year terms on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, according to the political action group, One Wisconsin Now.
Mike Gableman is currently under investigation by the Wisconsin Judicial Commission for violating the Code of Judicial Conduct during his campaign for election, which he won narrowly after all of 19% of the State's registered voters turned out to the polls.
He failed to win the vote, however, in Ashland County, where he was best known as its district attorney. During that campaign another then-district attorney, now Dodge County Circuit Judge Steven Bauer, publicly withdrew his support for Gableman in protest of Gableman's unsavory political machinations.
(Gableman's former campaign manager, Darrin Schmitz, is now working for Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. It's a small world, aina?)
"The integrity of the criminal justice system should not be allowed to be tarnished by one man's ambitious desire for higher office," Bauer wrote, saying he was troubled by Gableman's "cavalier disregard for accuracy." Aren't we all. Or should be.
Justice Ziegler received a public reprimand in 2008 for failing to disclose her relationships with parties while a circuit court judge in Washington County. Ziegler immediately acknowledged and accepted responsibility for her relatively benign acts of omission.
Gableman, on the other hand (or "in stark contrast," to coin a phrase), has been fighting against admitting to his far more serious and deliberate acts of commission (also known as "lying," according to the Judicial Commission) since last October, with the assistance of out-of-state lawyers.
They're admitted to practice here specifically to defend Gableman.
Judge Diane Sykes, a conservative member of the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, singled out Gableman's "attack" television advertising as "particularly base and deceptive."
Another former Supreme Court Justice, Janine Geske, reacted to the same advertising by observing, "We're sinking to new lows." The current Supreme Court has the statutory option of correcting that.
It should exercise it.