1. arrest v. — seize someone and take them into custodyOn March 3, 2011, these six Wisconsin State Senators, Robert Cowles, Alberta Darling, Sheila Harsdorf, Luther Olsen, Randy Hopper, and Dan Kapanke, endorsed a resolution by their legislative leader, Scott Fitzgerald, to issue arrest warrants, in the sense of definition 1. above, for 14 of their political rivals. They did so on the flimsiest of alleged legal bases, and in fact on legal bases manufactured from the deliberate misreading of an adverse decision issued by an Oconto County court.
2. arrest v. — stop or delay progress or a process
And amazingly, they did this not in the Soviet Union but in America.
Today, many Wisconsin voters have the opportunity to arrest the six named Republican Senators, not according to the lawless means by which those Senators acted, but in the sense of definition 2. above, to impede the progress of a radical Republican agenda in which all three branches of State government — including the highest court — are complicit.
Also in March, Republican legislators broke the law — and admitted they broke the law — by convening a twilight gathering in clear violation of the State's open meetings statutes, which give effect to the Wisconsin constitution's guarantee of public access to government proceedings.
On June 14, in perhaps the most radical act of the current regime, the State Supreme Court, by a bare majority of Republican judges and in an unsigned, unexplained order, invented a novel form of judicial authority through which they blessed the illegal acts of the Republican legislators.
Some, including the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the State's biggest newspaper, have complained that today's elections misuse and betray the spirit of the people's constitutional power to recall their elected representatives. They complain that the constitutional recall mechanism should be reserved for more serious misdeeds in office, not just for disagreements with those representatives' policies.
But Wisconsin voters have to wonder, what more serious misdeeds of office can there be than ordering State law enforcement officials to arrest their political rivals? What more serious misdeeds of office can there be than violating a collection of statutes intended to guarantee the people of Wisconsin merely the barest access to the deliberations of their government? What more serious misdeeds of office can there be than cheering on a court to fabricate its own unprecedented authority?
I can think of none. Arrest them. Or else just arrest any three of them.
See also: Alberta Darling's deliberate indifference to suffering