December 30, 2009

No, the Wisconsin Supreme Court didn't

[The Wisconsin Supreme Court] adopted, 4-3, a rule that says campaign contributions and money given to independent campaigns on the justices' behalf do not require the jurists to recuse themselves from cases in which these contributors are a party.
The four voted to adopt the rules in October. In November, the language that they voted on changed considerably (when the authors of the rules — as opposed to the four justices who voted to approve them, which should be cause for concern — noticed that the rules, when read in conjunction, didn't make any sense) and new, allegedly improved language was submitted. In December, faced with the resubmitted language, Justice David Prosser rescinded his October vote favoring adoption. It remains to be seen what Justice Prosser's disposition will be in January, when the court revisits the issue.

At the moment, there is no "adopted" rule. Did nobody on the Journal-Sentinel's editorial board watch the court's December 7 conference?* It was only the public television event of the year.**

* The newspaper's "right-wing guy" Patrick McIlheran is excused, as he sleeps through his own conferences, therefore he can't reasonably be expected to remain conscious during somebody else's.

** Next to Mike Gableman's classic Tail Gunner Joe routine.

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