April 7, 2011

Justice Prosser's memory plays a trick on us

Even Reuben Lee Mitchell sat up and took judicial notice
Justice Prosser called the campaign the most difficult assault on a person's character [his] in the history of the judiciary.*
I heard Justice Prosser say this early Wednesday morning on the TV. I could not believe my ears then and I cannot believe my eyes now.

It's breathtaking, literally.

* Which evidently began with April Fools, 2008.


ziemer said...

i really wouldn't classify the attacks on butler as "character attacks." they were attacks on the kind of law he used to practice -- criminal defense. everyone who practices criminal law and then runs for judge faces similar attacks, only usually more thinly veiled. the anti-butler commercials were way beyond that; they were terrible. but they didn't attack his character; they didn't say he lacked integrity and independence. this election was worse.

illusory tenant said...

With respect, apart from the Gableman ad and apart from the 3,000+ television ads that WMC ran on Butler's Jensen poisoning case dissent, which were pure personal attack, Gableman's legal defense was premised on attacking Butler's "judgment": "It had everything to do with Justice Butler's, uh, judgment, that he was willing to find a loophole to let such a heinous — or to relieve — such a heinous criminal from responsibility for his crime." -- Jim Bopp

ziemer said...

suppose i ran for the court. the unions would run ads against me, because of my positions on liberty of contract. but the ads wouldn't talk about that; they'd be about the fact that i have represented some of the most notorious sex offenders in the state. i wouldn't see it as personal.

that's basically what the anti-butler commercials were. they were base, but i just don't see them as character attacks.

Anonymous said...

Whether they were "base" or "personal," the anti-Butler ads have no legitimate place in reasoned debate. Those ads amount to smears that not only hurt the target but the process of democracy itself, by cheapening discourse and injecting unwarranted cynicism into public opinions about our system of government. The real reasons to be cynical are, of course, fundamentally non-personal.