August 12, 2011

Robin Vos clears the way for Mike Gableman recall

Robin Vos, a Republican in the Wisconsin Assembly, wants to amend the State constitution so that politicians* may only be recalled from office for specific offenses. Evidently he's upset because Democrats just picked off two of his Republican counterparts in the State Senate. We haven't seen Vos's proposed constitutional language yet, but according to the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, one of Robin Vos's bases for recall would be "if they are found guilty of an ethics violation." What could that mean?

The judicial branch of government already has its own process for disciplining its members for ethics violations. Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler, for example, was "found guilty of an ethics violation" and publicly reprimanded in 2008. So according to Robin Vos's reported contemplations, Justice Ziegler would be subject to recall in addition to the public reprimand, which is arguably a species of double jeopardy.

On the other hand, Supreme Court Justice Mike Gableman was "found guilty of an ethics violation" by a three-judge panel in 2009, but ultimately was not reprimanded. So Vos is paving the way for his recall?

The Wisconsin constitution provides for the right of the people to recall their elected officials after those officials have served a year in office. Furthermore the Wisconsin constitution specifically provides that "no law shall be enacted to hamper, restrict or impair the right of recall."

Yet that is exactly what Robin Vos wants to do, "hamper, restrict [and] impair" a constitutional right of the people. Which come to think of it is perfectly in consonance with the FitzVanWalker regime's general agenda.

Anyway it's unlikely anything will come of Rep. Vos's petulance.

Why would the people vote to restrict their own rights? That's irrational.** Vos may be irrational, but presumably the people aren't.

* In Wisconsin, the justices of the Supreme Court are very decidedly politicians. In fact recent history has demonstrated that some of the justices are even more politician than are the traditional politicians.

** In the Lockean, "rational actors" sense. The people may be otherwise irrational in different contexts (see, e.g. the election of Robin Vos).


gnarlytrombone said...

I could've sworn a bill to this effect had already been introduced this year, but can't find it now.

Mike said...

What a loser, the issue and the man. According to the Badger Poll last month, "Wisconsinites overwhelming think the recall option in the state constitution is a good thing (78%)".

Mike said...

It's surprising that the Republicans are trying to defang the recall power. I just thought they'd wait until they were completely out of power again and then try to use it to their advantage.

CJ said...

No kidding Mike. They HAVE every advantage and yet they want more.

Anonymous said...

I liked the article, but some disagree