April 4, 2011

Justice Prosser on savagery and distaste

From the archives:
The Allen motion ... has been followed by nine additional recusal motions against members of this court [seven of which are "against" Gableman]. The Wisconsin State Public Defender's office has invited the entire defense bar to file recusal motions against [Gableman] in criminal cases. The number and savagery of these motions is unprecedented and amounts to a frontal assault on the court. The court should have denied Allen's motion quickly, without comment. This would have avoided exposing controversy within the court.
It's always kind of bugged me that Justice Prosser viewed recusal motions — which are sheafs of paper filed with the court that maybe 50 people in the entire State of Wisconsin read — seeking Gableman's standing aside from certain cases as "savagery," whereas Gableman's notorious 2008 television ad attacking former Justice Louis Butler, which truly was savagery, was merely "distasteful" to Justice Prosser.

Distasteful: like a William Rehnquist shirt & tie combo.

At a candidate forum recently, Prosser said people need to "get over" the Gableman debacle. Given that Gableman subsequently through his agent defamed every attorney in the State who ever handled a criminal defense case,* I don't think that's going to happen, ever.

And I fail to understand how Prosser can demand that his opponent, JoAnne Kloppenburg, condemn a third-party's ad attacking him, while his own public reaction to Gableman's unethical behavior has been decidedly lukewarm and defensive. That's a tad double standard-ish.

* And offended all the others who respect the rule of law, including Justice N. Patrick Crooks, who was moved by Gableman's lawyer's relentless calumny to reconsider his position on the recusal motion.

That was among the worst lawyering this observer has ever seen.


Blake said...

So ... have recent events caused you to rethink being a "fan" of Prosser's?

I guess there's a distinction, isn't there, between being a fan of a judge/justice based on the quality of their decisionmaking on the bench (which is what I assumed you meant when you said you had been a fan in reply to Pyrrho in prior comments), versus being a fan or not of their public/political statements.

illusory tenant said...

Yes, I'm ambivalent about this entire exercise and you're correct, that distinction is among those things that causes the ambivalence.