September 29, 2011

Wisconsin Supreme Court quote of the day

Justice Prosser reflects on the standards for judicial disqualification:
The truth of the matter is there are sometimes situations where one of the parties is working through, say, the news media to create a furor that doesn't exist. And really, the public doesn't know that the whole thing is being orchestrated by one of the parties to get rid of a judge. Now this has happened to me more than once now. And I don't think the whole story has been told.
WisEye video at 46:46

The truth of the matter is also that Justice Prosser retained James Troupis in April to represent Prosser in his bid to remain on the court during the contentious Statewide recounts of votes for and against Prosser. At the time Troupis was also lead counsel for the plaintiffs in a highly charged political speech case, several of whose motions Prosser had participated in granting and indeed had authored an opinion in August, 2010, granting Troupis's request for a preliminary injunction against the defendants, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

Eventually the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel printed the views of three academic experts in legal ethics, each of whom was troubled by the appearance of impropriety, that a judge who was helping move a plaintiff's case through his court had hired that plaintiff's counsel to ensure that judge was back on the court to hear that plaintiff's case.

Presumably this was one of the situations to which Justice Prosser is referring. If so, he is at least partly responsible for the "furor," no?

Less clear is which party he's accusing of orchestrating the press.

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