September 21, 2009

Gableman refuses to recuse

As mentioned earlier, a Milwaukee attorney filed two motions with the Wisconsin Supreme Court last April seeking the recusal of one of its members, Michael Gableman, from hearing a criminal appeal.

The first motion was directed to Michael Gableman individually. On Thursday, September 10, Gableman summarily denied that motion (which was to be expected, especially considering the admissions he would have had to have made in order to grant it).

The remaining motion requests the entire court to entertain argument as to whether Gableman "for any reason cannot, or appears that he cannot, act in an impartial manner."*

The factual grounds for the challenge are essentially a rehearsal of Gableman's notorious 2008 political campaign, during which he simultaneously paraded himself as an "ally" in the "war on crime" and disparaged the constitutional role of criminal defense attorneys.

In fact that disparagement so offended a former Wisconsin State prosecutor (since elected a Dodge County circuit court judge) that the latter publicly withdrew his support from Gableman and had published a trenchant letter to the Watertown (WI) Daily Times.

Indeed, the disparagement continued even into last week, when Gableman attempted to defend himself against charges by the Wisconsin Judicial Commission that Gableman intentionally lied about his political opponent in television advertisements.

Now Atty. Stephen J. Meyer of Madison notes the filing of a supplemental motion in the wake of Gableman's pro hac vice** counsel Jim Bopp of Terre Haute, IN's reckless claims before a three-judge panel at an appeals court in Waukesha on Wednesday:
As the [supplemental] motion states: "As such, Justice Gableman's views and defense in his judicial ethics proceeding, as expressed through his attorney, reflect an absolute inability to be impartial in a criminal appeal such as this."
Of course Gableman can insist on his impartiality until the ungulates are repatriated, but there is much evidence to the contrary that points directly to at least the "appearance" mentioned in the statute.

Evidence, that is, which Gableman himself proudly introduced.

* Wis. Stat. § 757.19(2)(g), paraphrased.
** The term has an alternate meaning in Latin.


Anonymous said...

What about the campaign ads Shirley Abrahamson ran falsely claiming she was tough on criminals? Should she be disciplined for running misleading ads or should she recuse herself on the (laughable) assumptions that the ads were true?
Gableman will be on the Court for at least 9 more years. Move on.

illusory tenant said...

Had Gableman only been making statements about his own record, I highly doubt either the WJC's complaint or these motions for recusal would have been filed.