Conservative state Supreme Court Justices Michael Gableman and David Prosser, a former GOP state lawmaker, also attended.As opposed to the ideological activists who claim they don't.
Prosser, who's up for re-election next year, said the judiciary is under attack in the State from outside influences "spearheaded by ideologues who like activist judges who legislate from the bench."
Referring to the two most recent state Supreme Court contests,* which were won by Gableman and another conservative, Annette Ziegler, Prosser said those interests "are attempting to nullify two recent [Supreme Court] elections by harassing, defaming and intimidating the winners and trying to force their withdrawal from key cases."Good grief. I don't know who's "defaming" Gableman, but perhaps Justice Prosser might recall the facts underlying the Wisconsin Judicial Commission's complaint he'll be hearing on April 16.
Further, he said, "They’re attempting to gum up future elections with requirements and restrictions that will make it impossible for a candidate to control his or her own campaign."
The WJC's most recent filing with Justice Prosser's court, of February 10, contains the word "lie" 15 times over the space of 14 pages.
Not that the Tea Party-ers want to be reminded of those embedded elements of defamation in the code of judicial ethics, of course. Particularly with the Tea Party-ing Respondent himself in attendance.
Makes you wonder who it is that's politicizing the court. As for "outside influences," presumably Justice Prosser didn't have in mind the $100K+ that Gableman's political campaign collected from Manhattan, Denver, Arkansas,** Oregon, Florida, and elsewhere.
I have the utmost respect for the courts, for the institution. But if there are to be judicial elections then their participants must set themselves apart from and above the elections to the political branches, as befitting the special integrity of the offices sought. Lamentably, the trend recently is in the opposite direction.
When judges are found to have a constitutional right to lie, something, somewhere along the way, has gone amiss. Not because there's anything wrong with the First Amendment, but because someone has decided to stretch judicial ethics to their outer limit, where yet another judge must be put in the uncomfortable position of delivering the affirmation. Thus do the poor perceptions proliferate.
Anyway, my impression is that Justice Prosser is anticipating a 2011 challenge from Randy Koschnick — whose political presentation makes Prosser look like Ruth Bader Ginsburg — and seized on this Tea Party jamboree as an advance opportunity to out-Koschnick Koschnick.
Also, no Tea Party is complete without the obligatory pipefitter:
"I demand less involvement in my personal life," said Defender of the American Dream Joe the Plumber, drawing applause.Fortunately Joe is biologically incapable of producing an egg.
* Those two most recent before the one most recent, that is.
** Bentonville, AR, where Jimmy Hoffa is said to be interred.