Concludes Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack:
I conclude that the Rule of Necessity cannot trump the mandatory directive of the legislature.So whatever happened to the mandatory directive of the legislature to the chief judge of the court of appeals to appoint a three-judge panel?
Same thing as happened to the mandatory directive of the legislature that under no circumstances is less than two hours notice to be given of a public meeting of the legislature, I suppose: it was duly ignored.
Continues Justice Roggensack:
Statutory interpretation begins with the words chosen by the legislature in order to determine the meaning of the statute.Yes, and let's look at some words chosen by the legislature:
A judicial conduct ... panel shall consist of either 3 court of appeals judges or 2 court of appeals judges and one reserve judge. Each judge may be selected from any court of appeals district including the potential selection of all judges from the same district. The chief judge of the court of appeals shall select the judges and designate which shall be presiding judge.Why hasn't the chief judge done so? We are told — continually by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel — that the chief judge is waiting for the Supreme Court's "order" to him to do so. That alleged requirement is pure fantasy. If Justice Roggensack is recusing herself from Justice Prosser's ethics case as the first step to prevent the Supreme Court quorum allegedly required to order the chief judge to appoint a judicial conduct panel, what we're witnessing is the biggest legal travesty since Roggensack and her "conservative" colleagues last June invented a power not authorized by the State constitution in order to protect their fellow Republicans from the consequences of the Republican-controlled legislature's facially illegal activities in passing their union-busting Act 10.
And the State's biggest newspaper is helping enable this farce.