February 23, 2010

Breakfast with Rick

Marquette University visiting assistant professor of law Rick Esenberg turns up at Point of Law, which looks like an academic roundtable, but is actually a project of the Manhattan Institute:
In both the Gableman-Butler race and a race one year earlier in which Justice Annette Ziegler was elected to the Court, independent groups spent heavily — far more than the candidates themselves. One was a business advocacy group known as Wisconsin Manufacturers Commerce [sic]. It spent somewhere around two million dollars on the race.
Conspicuously left unsaid is the fact that a portion of that two million dollars was spent on producing and distributing a video featuring none other than Rick Esenberg, reclining in a book-filled study and expounding critically on Justice Butler's alleged "activism."

The video was subsequently packaged as a featurette displayed at a series of "breakfast meetings" conducted by WMC for its fans and supporters throughout the State during the months immediately preceding the April, 2008 Supreme Court election.

Esenberg was presented as one of three featured speakers* at the breakfasts, and each breakfast celebrant received a DVD containing Esenberg's "candid remarks" in which, WMC promised the breakfasters, he "pulls no punches."

Prof. Esenberg describes his Point of Law discursion as one "reciting issues familiar to ... followers of the Wisconsin scene."

Carefully selected issues, that is. The apparent pretense that Rick Esenberg is some disinterested academic expounding on ephemeral questions of constitutional law is, frankly, a bit silly. Perhaps he'll see fit to more fully detail his participation in supporting Gableman's enterprise in his next submittal to the Manhattan Institute crowd.

For his part, Gableman remains accused of lying about a sitting Wisconsin Supreme Court justice during his political campaign.

* Another was James Buchen, whose dishonesty is documented here.


John Foust said...

Standard Contradictory Disclaimer™: I am something of an agnostic on judicial elections, but, if we are to have them and they are going to be something other than a clash of meaningless platitudes and endorsements (often fueled by subterranean politics).

illusory tenant said...

[then] judicial candidates are going to need room to discuss issues in the (often too simple) way that the public can understand or will attend to.

Such as, 'I am a staunch ally of law enforcement in the war on crime and my opponent is a coddler of child rapists and murderers.'

Free Lunch said...

What's the point of posting to a blog like Point of Law if you are too gutless to let people respond?

illusory tenant said...

He has his own blog too.

John Foust said...

Yeah, I thought Da Shark was engaging in a little elitist Prof. Thurston Howard III class warfare with the second half of that sentence. I didn't want to make him look bad, so I left it out.