October 28, 2008

Gableman panel empaneled

After a false start.

Reportedly, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman is planning on challenging the constitutionality of the Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules provision he stands accused of violating:
A candidate for a judicial office shall not knowingly or with reckless disregard for the statement's truth or falsity misrepresent the identity, qualifications, present position, or other fact concerning the candidate or an opponent. A candidate for judicial office should not knowingly make representations that, although true, are misleading, or knowingly make statements that are likely to confuse the public with respect to the proper role of judges and lawyers in the American adversary system.
Emphases added.

This means Gableman will have to show that the above Rule (SCR 60.06(3)(c)) operates as an abridgment of free speech under the First Amendment, which is applicable to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment.

Gableman, despite having been narrowly elected nearly seven months ago, continues to speak through his campaign manager, Darrin Schmitz. Schmitz appears to claim that because each and every individual sentence in the contested advertisement is "truthful," so therefore is the overall communication conveyed by the ad.

Thus I suppose if I tell you that the moon is made of green cheese, it must be true because there is a moon, there is cheese, and there are things that are green, out of which other things can be made.

My question is, how many Gableman votes was the ad's alleged "truthfulness" responsible for. The panel may not reach that question, but it seems pretty much dispositive to me.

It certainly was intended to sway voters.


Anonymous said...

IT, isn't it time for Gableman to hire an attorney and designate that person to speak on his behalf? It seems inappropriate for a Justice of the Supreme Court to use a campaign manager for this purpose, especially when the topic at hand is related to the campaign!

illusory tenant said...

I agree, it is odd. The attorney(s) will turn up soon enough, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

We heard nothing about Gableman being unethical, unjust or impartial as an attorney or judge. If there is something, he did as an attorney or judge then I would consider this a serious matter.

All this has to do with is what he did as a politician. Many politicians are lawyers that have done questionable ads but I do not recall hearing anyone of them ever being investigated for it.

It also appears to me that the Supreme Court making rules for how you can run for a judicial office is unethical. The legislature made these elections possible and did not impose that type of rule on candidates or on the process. The election process must be free or we’ll all suffer for it.

Anonymous said...

"If there is something, he did as an attorney or judge then I would consider this a serious matter."

As an attorney, he ran for the office of judge and behaved unethically in the process -- relative to the ethical guidelines laid down by the SC for such proceedings.

illusory tenant said...

Actually he was a judge while he ran for Supreme Court Justice and there is a separate investigation underway with the Office of Lawyer Regulation into his prior activities while a lawyer seeking to be a judge. And, more recently, a call for criminal charges.

Anonymous said...

Clutch -

Cute, but I think it was clear that I was referring to what Gableman has or has not done on the job, not what he did as a politician. Is there anything from his record on the bench, with a client or with an accused that would justify this lynching?

Anonymous said...

Well, then, anony's sure to be considering this a very serious matter indeed.