A three-judge panel unanimously encourages the state Supreme Court to dismiss a complaint filed against Justice Michael J. Gableman by the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, concluding that a campaign ad run by Gableman’s campaign in 2008 did not violate the Code of Judicial Conduct.But see:
[W]e conclude that the facts alleged in the complaint do not constitute a violation of SCR 60.06(3)(c) for which discipline may be imposed. — Judge Harry Snyder (emphasis added)
I write separately ... to emphasize that, although the panel recommends that the Commission’s complaint against Justice Gableman be dismissed, no one should be misled into believing that we find no fault with the advertisement in question. Justice Gableman’s counsel virtually conceded at oral argument that the advertisement is misleading because it falsely implies that Justice Butler’s representation of Reuben Mitchell caused or resulted in Mitchell’s release from prison, and it thus contravenes the "aspirational" second sentence of SCR 60.06(3)(c). — Judge David Deininger
Although I agree with the Majority’s bottomline recommendation that the supreme court should dismiss the Judicial Commission’s complaint ... I respectfully disagree with its analysis—specifically, its conclusion that the advertisement did not violate the first sentence of SCR 60.06(3)(c), which is the only provision that could subject Justice Gableman to discipline because of the advertisement. — Judge Ralph Adam FineThat is, they all concluded that Gableman did violate the code of judicial conduct. Judges Snyder and Deininger decided that Gableman couldn't be disciplined for his violation, and Judge Fine decided that the (different) provision Gableman violated is unconstitutional.
Make no mistake: The panel did not recommend dismissal of the Wisconsin Judicial Commission's complaint because Michael Gableman was found to be innocent of the alleged violations.
Gableman's lawyer, James Bopp, described the panel's recommendation as a complete vindication, the AP reported.Perhaps, in his troubled fantasies.