January 30, 2008

A Gableman moment

One of the revelatory moments that occurred in yesterday's online debate between Justice Louis Butler and Judge Michael Gableman came after a caller, Dan from Milwaukee, asked Butler how the latter went about building the list of group and individual endorsements listed on his campaign website.

Butler, following on his reiteration that the election itself is a non-partisan affair, stated that his endorsements were collected from "across the board," including from within groups that are traditionally associated with Republicans.

Gableman, in an awkward play at carpe-ing the diem, remarked that, "I notice my opponent says he's reached out to Republicans. Does that mean he's the Democrat?" Except Butler mentioned that he'd also gathered support from groups traditionally associated with Democrats, yet that prompted no penetrating inquiry from Gableman as to whether that meant Butler is "the" Republican.

Probably because Gableman is "the" Republican.

Not only that, but during his own opening statement, Gableman had specifically appealed to the support he enjoys among Democratic sheriffs and district attorneys. Whoops!

Hopefully this isn't the sort of comically selective reasoning Gableman intends to apply at the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

[Please visit the iT Butler/Gableman archive.]


Display Name said...

Perhaps it's one of those examples of following the law as it was written, and not the way some crazed partisan wants it to be because of his personal bias, preferences or dreams.

So what was the Wizard of Oz dig about?

illusory tenant said...

I have no idea. There are a number of citations to social sciences studies in Thomas v. Mallett, which is what Gableman was on about at that point, but none of them appear to have been authored by L. Frank Baum.

While judges occasionally make reference to pop culture artifacts for literary or humorous effect, I'm not aware of any actually relying on them as controlling precedent.

So I'm not sure what his point was.

illusory tenant said...

Did Gableman actually say "dreams," by the way? I know he made several appeals to "personal sympathies and feelings," but I may have missed the "dreams" bit.

Those charges, incidentally, were an interesting juxtaposition against his own anecdotal reminiscences about comforting the victims of crime.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, obviously, but consistency is good, also.

Display Name said...

I don't know if he actually said "dreams". I was riffing.

The "fair shake for law enforcement" phrase keeps rattling in my brain pan. What all is implied by this code phrase?

illusory tenant said...

That would appear to be the suggested consequence of Gableman's 'stark contrast to Butler's consistently siding with criminals' theme. Following on the 'stark contrast,' presumably the implication is that Butler resists the fair shake for law enforcement.

Expect to hear much more of that.