March 28, 2013

A couple of questions for Justice Pat Roggensack

Why hasn't anybody asked Justice Pat Roggensack these questions? They seem obvious to me, and I don't even live in Wisconsin any more.

1) Justice Roggensack, you wrote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
"[W]hen a citizen votes in a judicial election, he or she exercises a right guaranteed under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution."
The First Amendment — as you know — originally applied only to Congress. Since then the United States Supreme Court has held, by selective incorporation, that certain elements of the Bill of Rights apply to State governments, but the right to vote has never been incorporated through the First Amendment.

So according to what constitutional theory or legal reasoning did you reach the conclusion that the right to vote in State judicial elections is guaranteed by the First Amendment?*

2) Many observers attribute the authorship of the per curiam order in Ozanne v. Fitzgerald to you, Justice Roggensack. In that order the court devised what it called "supervisory/original jurisdiction."

a) How could the court invoke its original jurisdiction when in fact it was the third court to review the particulars of the case?

b) As for the court's supervisory (more accurately, its superintending) jurisdiction, less than one month after its order in Ozanne, you joined a majority opinion of the court which declared:
"A supervisory writ is an extraordinary remedy to prevent a court from refusing to perform, or from violating, its plain duty."
This seems like a clear directive, and provides the criteria that a court must find are satisfied before granting this "extraordinary remedy."

But there is neither any discussion — nor even a mention — in the court's Ozanne v. Fitzgerald order of Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi's having refused to perform her plain duty, nor is there any discussion or mention of Judge Sumi's having violated her plain duty.

So how do you square your July 14, 2011 directive with Ozanne?

It seems the citizens are lacking an important chain in your reasoning.

* There is no constitutional right to vote for federal judges.

March 15, 2013

Roggensack to complement law enforcement

It's been some time but I'm certain I recall the usual suspects on the political right in Wisconsin castigating that State's Chief Justice, Shirley Abrahamson, for presenting herself as an ally of law enforcement. In the course of winning 69 of 72 counties in 2009, the CJ ran an ad featuring Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney's enthusiastic support. Above is a detail of Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack's Facebook cover photo which, according to the proverb, tells a thousand words. And it's no different than if Roggensack were depicted shaking hands with an insurance company or manufacturing concern CEO. We've all seen the case captions for the controversies that reach the Wisconsin Supreme Court: State v. Brown, State v. Lopez, etc. That large man with the prominent pistol, warmly embracing the smiling judge inside a court of law, represents "State."

I don't see Lopez around, nor, naturally, the hypocrites on the right.

March 5, 2013

Court amended statutes, admits Roggensack

[T]he statutes applicable to the [Wisconsin] Judicial Commission have been amended ... by this court several times.
Wowee. Some conservative huh?

February 20, 2013

Who's endorsing Roggensack for justice

This fevered character, for one:
[Milwaukee County Sheriff David] Clarke went on: "That's what the government fears. They don't really fear the criminal. They support the criminal after they've been arrested. But what they fear is a law-abiding person ... "
Um okay whatever dude. #tinfoil

February 19, 2013

Wisconsin's other other Bradley

Below "Judge judicial candidates on the merits," appears this:
Honestly, I’ve never even heard of Gil [Urfer] or Janet [Protasiewicz] before this election, so I can’t say much about them — good or bad.
So much for judging them on their merits, then.

The incumbent, Republican Scott Walker appointee Rebecca Bradley, describes herself as a "nonideological" member of the Federalist Society, which is an organization of malcontents and paranoid hysterics with law degrees that was founded on political ideology.

Kinda like being a Milwaukee Admiral but you don't play hockey.

February 18, 2013

Justice Roggensack is hardly a conservative judge

Once again, much is being made in the newspapers these days of the altercation which took place in the chambers of Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley back in June, 2011.

One reason for that is because there is an impending general election* for the seat of incumbent Justice Patience Roggensack and another reason is that Justice Bradley removed herself last week from the case of Wisconsin Judicial Commission v. David T. Prosser, Jr.

It was an altercation that Justice Roggensack had "almost nothing to do with," says risibly lies one of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's several in-house right-wing Bradley (no relation) Foundation propagandists.

Unless authoring a meanspirited, lawless order and then leading her little posse of alleged "conservatives" into Justice Bradley's chambers to insist on its immediate publication to allay the concerns of Republican allies in the Wisconsin legislature counts as having "almost nothing to do with" the subsequent confrontation among justices.

Meanspirited in the sense that the order is practically a personal attack on Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi, in whose courtroom the Republican legislators' attorneys freely admitted they had violated both the Wisconsin statutes and the Wisconsin constitution.

Lawless in the sense that Justice Roggensack and her Republican pals invented a jurisidictional authority for the Wisconsin Supreme Court that not only is not found in the State constitution but is explicitly contraindicated in the rules of appellate procedure: There is no such thing as "supervisory/original jurisdiction." They represent separate grounds for a party having her case heard by the Supreme Court.

In fact, there is no such thing as "supervisory" jurisdiction among the Wisconsin Supreme Court's panoply of constitutional powers, but there is superintending jurisdiction. Therefore if Roggensack and her fellow Republicans wanted to dream up the law more accurately, they should have invented "superintending/original" jurisdiction.

Furthermore in Justice Roggensack's own granting of her motion for recusal, she cites a Wisconsin statute she apparently believes requires her recusal. Except the statute refers to "any civil or criminal action or proceeding," whereas WJC v. Prosser is neither a criminal nor a civil case, thus the statute upon which Roggensack depends is irrelevant.

And they call her a "conservative" judge? Hardly. To top it all off, the same alleged conservatives then utterly contradicted themselves.

Where has this been reported? Nowhere, except at this here space.

* The primary election is Tuesday, February 19.

The only conservative on that ticket is Ed Fallone.

February 17, 2013

Roggensack foolishness is mostly true

Judge Charles P. Dykman, who retired in 2010 after 32 years on the appeals bench, said it was "foolishness" to equate complex cases heard by three-judge panels with minor summary disposition cases in which the appeal often lacked merit.
Nevertheless, "Mostly True" despite the foolish premise.

Must be legal logic.

February 15, 2013

Fierce Walker appointees stall Prosser prosecution

Reports Patrick Marley:
Franklyn Gimbel said Thursday he has given other options to the Judicial Commission on how to proceed with the case, but he was told not to pursue any of them for now. . . . Since Gimbel began work on the case, the makeup of the commission has changed so that it is now controlled by Walker appointees.
I call that an "appearance of impropriety," a legal concept for which several of the Wisconsin Supreme Court justices show little regard.

Read the whole story. It's amazing.
Some legal observers said the effort should be directed at the chief of the appeals court, because State law says those courts' chief "shall select the judges" on the judicial panel and does not specify a role for the Supreme Court in establishing the panel.
I suspect one of them may have been me.

P.S. Where's the Gableman prosecution(s) at?