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?