March 28, 2008

Gableman funnies II

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler and Burnett County conservative Republican Mike Gableman held their last debate a while ago, and it was even enlightening to me, who's had just about as much enlightenment on the suitability of Gableman for the Supreme Court as he can stand.

One of the more amusing moments occurred when an audience member asked Gableman about the constitutional guarantee to due process of law and what he, as a member of the Supreme Court, would do to effect due process for those Wisconsinites who may find themselves in either a civil or criminal predicament while not poor enough for public defense but without the resources to hire a private attorney (that's a lot of Wisconsinites, by the way).

Gableman launched one or two of his complete repertoire of a half-dozen vacuous talking points, rambling on for nearly a minute about "fair application of the law" and "I've been a circuit judge longer than my opponent was" and yadda yadda yadda.

After he was done, the moderator asked the questioner whether he'd received a satisfactory answer. "Um, no," he said, and Gableman just went ahead and disgorged another non-responsive canned ramble.

Justice Butler, asked to reply, and who could have used the time to speak about anything, engaged the fellow's question and discussed a number of outreach centers the State government has set up to aid pro se parties, referred to some initiatives that the court is working with the legislature to implement, and talked about how the indigency standard hasn't changed since 1987 and such.

I was almost starting to feel sorry for Gableman. Until he actually succumbed to the poor judgment of calling Justice Butler — whose name is pronounced like Lewis — "Louie." Then I went back to my prior position. Butler has too much integrity to take that bait.

You keep staying classy, Mike Gableman, and, better yet, you keep staying a circuit judge even longer.

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