May 28, 2011

How Patrick McIlheran lies for the WISGOP

Perfect example right here:
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.


gnarlytrombone said...

So at this point the Department of Justice is merely throwing stuff against the wall to find out if any of it will stick

From a communications [sic] perspective - which I argue ad nauseum is the prime directive in this regime just like it was with Rove Inc. - the stuff is the wall. This is just another brick in it, another sentence in the narrative.

Consider how this idiocy was regurgitated in every "straight" press outlet in the state, unrefuted (Schweber: "It's not clear filing a public brief is a public statement." JFC.) and then eagerly lapped up by dingbat Brookfield bloggers.

What is exquisitely sinister about this is that not only does the narrative wall define the perceptual boundaries in the public mind, it also blocks from view the real story. Which is, of course, how the FitzWalkers managed to interrupt the grandiose, half-century-old winger wet dream with the most banal administrative fuckup imaginable.

As with the Kapitol Kaos canards, this piece 1) fits seamlessly on top of all those that came before it and 2) contains all the essential elements of the overall narrative regarding Judge Sumi, the courts in general, and the collective bargaining issue.

Unfortunately ther than your own valiant efforts and scattered librul advocacy, there's no way of knocking down the wall. And I can't imagine it and its effects on public opinion won't affect the Court even if the justices are committed to doing what's right legally.

illusory tenant said...

the most banal administrative fuckup imaginable.

Jeff Fitzgerald being out of his office on or about 1:59 p.m., March 9, 2011.

gnarlytrombone said...

Speaking of communications, I should watch myself there, lest I forward the yarn about "technicalities." The contempt for the OML is arguably a bigger deal than this whole sorry saga.

illusory tenant said...

That and the total hypocrisy of the conservative Republican lip-service-of-convenience to certain principles of statutory construction and judicial restraint. Because Sumi's reasoning is textbook conservative construction and restraint.