One Dane County judge rules that collective bargaining reform is unacceptable ...This is your Journal Communications, Inc. brand of journalism.
But as one Dane County judge very clearly explained, both the federal Constitution and the Wisconsin constitution confer the judicial power equally to both higher and lower courts.* And as one Dane County judge very clearly explained, her ruling was directed at "the March 9, 2011 action of the Legislature's Joint Committee of Conference" and not whether the Walker administration's policy was acceptable or not.
Journal Communications, Inc.'s Patrick McIlheran is flat-out lying.
On the other hand, the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is "representing the Republicans," makes repeated explicit defenses of Republican political policy in its latest filing with the Supreme Court pursuant to its attempt to have that court legislate from the bench.
The DOJ, on behalf of Scott Walker's infamous building maintenance supervisor Mike Huebsch, has gone so far as to suggest that the one Dane County judge, Maryann Sumi, violated the State code of judicial ethics by responding to the DOJ's petition for a supervisory writ (it's not an appeal, as has been widely reported). Now that is remarkable.
The Supreme Court, which does indeed have superintending authority over the (lower) circuit courts, on May 4 ordered Judge Sumi to file a response to the Huebsch/DOJ petition. Yes, ordered. The DOJ suggests that Judge Sumi should have exercised her option not to respond. The Wisconsin Rules of Appellate Procedure, at Wis. Stat. § 809.51(2), allow that a respondent to a petition for supervisory writ "may file a letter stating that he or she does not intend to file a response."
In other words, a respondent is not exempt or excepted from the Supreme Court's order but may disobey an order of the Supreme Court. Respondents to petitions for a supervisory writ are not limited to "court[s] and the presiding judge[s]," but the petition may be filed against "other person[s] or bod[ies]." And clearly Judge Sumi is in a different position vis-à-vis the Supreme Court than other persons or bodies not courts and presiding judges. Yet the Wisconsin Department of Justice suggests she should have disobeyed the Supreme Court's order.
Obviously Judge Sumi did not disobey an order of the Supreme Court.
And for not disobeying the Supreme Court's order, the Department of Justice is now veiledly threatening to file a motion for recusal against Judge Sumi, despite the fact that the ultimate determination for Judge Sumi's disqualification from the case of Ozanne v. Fitzgerald resides with Judge Sumi, once again, according to the black letter State law.
So at this point the Department of Justice is merely throwing stuff against the wall to find out if any of it will stick, in the course of its "representation of the Republicans." Thus whose impartiality is under question here is pretty obvious. And it sure ain't Judge Sumi's.
All of which demonstrates at least three things: (1) the ideological zealotry of Deputy Attorney General Kevin St. John, (2) Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's acquiescence to Mr. St. John getting on this breakaway, and (3) the WISGOP Republicans' abject terror at attempting to have their union-busting bill passed by a non-illegal procedure.
McIlheran's bald lie is put forth in service of advertising his appearance tomorrow morning on another Journal Communications, Inc. buffoon's teevee show, Charlie Sykes's Sunday Insight [sic], which runs on Journal Communications, Inc.'s teevee station, TMJ-4. And of course Sykes is also an employee of Journal Communications, Inc.'s radio station, WTMJ.
There you have it, Journal Communications, Inc.'s corpo-blanketing of Milwaukee media with conservative Republican talking points. Because I wouldn't expect a discussion of the Rules of Appellate Procedure among Charlie Sykes and his guests tomorrow, who also include one of the most absurd conservative Republican political hacks in Wisconsin, Brian Fraley.
Roughly as absurd as the political hacks at Journal Communications, Inc.
* Matter of fact the same principle was invoked here in defense of J.B. Van Hollen, which days of defending JBVH at this space are long gone.