December 7, 2009

Not so fast, McIlheran

I've just completed P-Mac's fact-trick to hide the plurality.

On a theory of reality being subordinate to a good polemic, the journalist and dendroclimatologist Patrick McIlheran informs us:
The state supremes recently ruled that justices can't be bounced off cases solely because of legal campaign contributions or ads made on a justice's behalf by outside groups.
How do you say, "Dead in the water at the moment." At least, that's how Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson (who is truly in the proverbial understanding reminiscent of Job) put it this afternoon.

In fact the authors of the proposed rules of judicial conduct, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the Wisconsin Realtors Association, brought inconsistencies of language to the justices' attention last month, and Justice Prosser today rescinded his vote to approve the originally submitted rule provisions "verbatim."

Tough to "rule" with fewer than four justices. So for the time being the due process rights of litigating parties before the courts have yet to be displaced by the First Amendment rights of judges to solicit and receive political campaign contributions. Which is as it should be.

Alternatively, Mr. McIlheran could try reading his own paper.

Also today, Justice Roggensack helped give some indication that a completed per curiam opinion and possibly more may be imminent in at least one of several motions currently before the court, requesting the recusal of Michael Gableman in criminal appeals.

What's certain: There are some frayed nerves and thus some snarky attitudes on that court. It's fascinating to observe but disturbing too.

eta: McIlheran's latest routine.

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