This would be the public hearing that Gableman and his out-of-State counsel have been laboring to avoid, and the above are the three Wisconsin judges selected to preside (although not in the same sense that Gableman "presided over" 9,000 uncontested traffic tickets).
The hearing is a long-awaited development and serves a number of useful purposes, not the least of which is putting Gableman's disgraceful political campaign back in the public spotlight.
Not only did Gableman abuse the electoral process by which appellate court judges are selected in Wisconsin, he placed his own peers and colleagues in the unenviable and awkward position of passing judgment on his undeniably crass political shenanigans.
A comment from Journal-Sentinel reader "tsab4" seems a tad harsh:
What a pathetic man with no morals whatsoever. ... May Gableman's soul burn in the hottest fires of hell.Gableman faces sanctions, but they're not quite so Dante-esque, and are necessarily limited by law to his earthly, mortal presence.
Court of Appeals Judge Ralph Adam Fine was also on the panel that reviewed the ethics allegations against Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler. Judge Fine said Justice Ziegler's violations were "not even a blip on the screen" compared to some other cases.
Fine noted that even the best people sometimes make mistakes, adding that a "cup of hemlock" may not be the remedy.Nor has anyone accused Gableman of corrupting the youth of Athens.
But in Gableman's case, the alleged violations were hardly a mistake. They were the result of deliberate political calculation, and Gableman admitted he afforded careful consideration to the television advertising at issue before ultimately approving its release.
He knew something was not quite right. Yet he forged ahead anyway. Ever since, he's been claiming a variety of privileges in defense of what the Wisconsin Judicial Commission describes bluntly as "lying."
Furthermore, to top it all off, Gableman said he was proud of his political campaign. That alone is a remarkable and telling admission, and very far removed from Justice Ziegler's immediate mea culpas.
Thus should Judge Fine be similarly inclined to compare Gableman's circumstances with those of Justice Ziegler, the result is unlikely to be particularly flattering but rather more than merely blip-worthy.