April 5, 2009

This is a "judicial philosophy"?

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Randy Koschnick is fond of saying Wisconsin voters will prefer his "judicial philosophy," yet he can't seem to make up his mind on a fundamental constitutional question.

On the one hand, he thinks the executive branch of government shouldn't make sentencing determinations on the part of the judiciary. On the other, he believes the executive branch should be able to walk into court (or send a fax) and unilaterally veto them.

According to the Journal-Sentinel, last week Koschnick told some Republicans at a Christian college in Waukesha that Governor James Doyle's plan to grant early release to some non-violent inmates is "misguided," an interference in the judicial power over sentencing.

But in his famous list of 2% of Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson's decisions, he complains about a 2005 case called State v. Stenklyft, which concerned a provision in a Wisconsin sentencing law that granted the executive branch unilateral veto power over the court.

So, which is it? And has any reporter ever asked Judge Koschnick to explain any of his numerous contradictions? Not that I'm aware of.

"I am interested ... not [in] whether [Robert] Bork has a persuasive or plausible constitutional philosophy, but whether he has any constitutional philosophy at all." — Ronald Dworkin, 08/13/87

Emphasis added.

Elsewhere: Koschnick complains about equal protection in Iowa.

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