April 7, 2010

Conservative judge defeated

District II construction may now be less than strictly strict
Waukesha County Circuit Judge Paul Reilly on Tuesday defeated fellow Waukesha County Circuit Judge Linda Van De Water for a seat on the District II Court of Appeals.
Van De Water had even invoked all the magic words:
I believe it is imperative that a judge apply the law and uphold the Constitution with a strict interpretation rather than legislate from the bench by imposing their personal philosophy and opinions to achieve a particular outcome.
It's never been clear to me how you apply a "strict interpretation" to, for example, "unreasonable seizures" or "well regulated." In fact much of the Constitution's language (deliberately) eludes so-called "strict construction" and therefore it's one of the silliest claims a candidate for judge can make. Yet they make it all the time.

Why anybody buys it is a complete mystery.

And if "legislating from the bench" is just a facetious way of saying "making law," then appeals courts do that every single day. It's their job. By providing written opinions clarifying an unsettled aspect of the law, they repudiate prior understandings and create new ones.

That's called making law no matter what sarcastic conservative Republican euphemism you choose to designate it with.

xoff had produced a little backgrounder last week.

Retiring judge Harry S. Snyder wrote the lead opinion in Michael Gableman's judicial ethics proceeding. The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear more arguments pursuant to that decision on April 16.

Meanwhile, this one won handily. Pure politics, which obscure merit.

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