February 10, 2011

Justice Prosser thinks Joel Winnig is smoking dope

Court candidates denounce Justice Michael Gableman
"I think Joel has been smoking some of the stuff he wants to legalize," Prosser said, referring to Winnig's position on marijuana.
Maybe those headline writers are as well, because neither Marla Stephens nor JoAnne Kloppenburg, although they've both fairly criticized Gableman's 2008 shenanigans that made him the defendant in an ethics case, has come anywhere close to "denouncing" him.

Winnig's statements are inarguably denunciations. But it's manifestly unfair to make Atty. Stephens or Atty. Kloppenburg a party to them.

To be sure, the 's' belongs at the end of denounce, not candidate.
Stephens said the opinion that Prosser supported did not take into account the ad's overall message. "You don't take a statement and parse it  . . . phrase by phrase. You take a statement as a whole," she said.
Exactly so.

There was insufficient attention* given by either court that considered the matter as to what is meant by the word "statement" in the Wisconsin code of judicial conduct, which is one of the reasons why this case still generates commentary. So conservatives who are complaining that the Gableman controversy should be forgotten and moved on from can stop talking about Roe v. Wade (1973) any time.

At least the latter decision resulted in a final judgment, whereas Gableman failed in his bid to obtain one from any Wisconsin court.

* Excepting by Ralph Adam Fine, a member of the three-judge panel that first heard Michael Gableman's unsuccessful motion to dismiss. Judge Fine wrote that setting each of the ad's individual spoken English propositions in isolation was "a crabbed reading, lashed to the mast of sentence-by-sentence literalism, and ignores the way we use language, often deriving significant meaning from implication."

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