March 24, 2010

Reporters need to read legal opinions

Or else ask somebody who has. According to the Badger Herald:
Crooks said that Bopp's comments "startled and appalled many in the legal community," and he called on Gableman to distance himself from the lawyer's views.
No, Justice Crooks did not "call on Gableman to distance himself from the lawyer's views." Justice Crooks simply observed that a recent statement of Gableman's pledging to treat "all persons fairly" did not include a repudiation of Bopp's comments. That's just a plain fact.

Justice Crooks's overarching point was that Gableman's lawyer Bopp's remarks turned up in supplemental filings to Aaron Antonio Allen's initial request to have Gableman recused from hearing his criminal appeal and the court was giving short shrift to those additional factors by refusing to order additional briefing on the matter.

A reporter should know the difference between reporting and advocacy, a particularly crucial distinction in this instance, where no such advocacy exists. Gableman also claims that Justice Crooks's observation is a "rebuke" and a "gratuitous personal attack," but neither of these hyperbolic accusations is supported by the record.

Gableman set his own table. He sure ain't no victim.

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