Saturday, December 5, 2015

Walker's ally in Crime, the Rogue Conservative Activist Supreme Court, now freely legislating from the bench!!!

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is officially just another political arm of the most powerful crooked governor the state has ever seen, Scott Walker. His protection racketeers, ass kisser AG Brad Schimel and the shameless majority of conservative activists on the Supreme Court, are doing everything they can to shield Walker from prosecution.

As I was reading this, I couldn't help but think of this recent quote, "The ... government has grown arrogant, condescending and outright paternalistic." Oddly, that was Paul Ryan describing Democrats, in a moments of breathtaking projection.

Be amazed. From PRWatch:

Republicans replaced Abrahamson as chief justice with Roggensack.
In "Extraordinary" Move, WI Supreme Court Fires Scott Walker Prosecutor to Stave-Off SCOTUS Review.

"What a mess this court has wrought!" Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson declared in the latest chapter in the state's John Doe legal saga.

On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court's majority contorted itself to find a new way to protect both Scott Walker and the Court's biggest supporters--not to mention itself--following its decision in July rewriting the state's limits on money in politics and ending the "John Doe" investigation into Walker's campaign coordinating with dark money groups.

Wednesday's ruling was supposed to be a straightforward decision on a motion to reconsider, in light of additional evidence, that Walker and his allies had violated the campaign finance laws that the Court upheld in July. The Court denied that motion, but then (in a lengthy unsigned opinion) went further, rewriting its July decision to fire the Republican Special Prosecutor who had led the investigation, Francis Schmitz, making it harder for him to challenge the justices' conflicts-of-interest by appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Those conflicts arise from the fact that the same groups that coordinated with Walker's campaign were among the majority's biggest financial supporters, raising concerns under U.S. Supreme Court precedent about whether the justices should have heard the case at all.

"The miscalculation I made in this investigation was underestimating the power and influence special interest groups have in Wisconsin politics," said Schmitz, a retired U.S. Army colonel and former counter-terrorism prosecutor. "My career in the military and as a federal prosecutor fighting violent criminals and terrorists did not fully prepare me for the tactics employed by these special interest groups." 

Wednesday's decision was "extraordinary," said Janine Geske, respected former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who now teaches at Marquette Law School. "To somehow remove the lawyer representing one of the parties after the opinion [has been issued] is extraordinary," she told the Center for Media and Democracy.

"It puts the case in a very odd situation, removing counsel so he cannot file an appeal," Geske said, with no clarity for how other prosecutors might be able to intervene.

"This extraordinary action is, as far as I can determine, unprecedented and could have the effect of insulating the Court's decision from further review," said Susan Crawford, an attorney at Cullen Weston Pines & Bach. "The Court, in terminating the special prosecutor's appointment immediately, knew that its decision would compromise the ability of the special prosecutor--the sole party representing the prosecution—to seek review from the U.S. Supreme Court." 
It also looks like money...big surprise, buys just enough votes to turn an election in the states highest court:
The Court rewriting its decision and firing Schmitz might be viewed not only as the majority protecting their biggest financial supporters and Scott Walker, but also as an effort to protect themselves. That's because the Court's four-justice majority was elected to the bench with at least $10 million in spending from precisely the same groups accused of coordinating with Walker, and precisely the same groups that were under investigation in the John Doe. 

Those groups, Wisconsin Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, have been the dominant spenders on Wisconsin Supreme Court races in recent years, in most cases outspending the justices themselves. In 2011, the groups and their offshoots together spent $3.7 million supporting Justice David Prosser, five times as much as Prosser's own campaign, in an election decided by a mere 7,000 votes. Three years before, WMC's spending in support of Justice Michael Gableman had come in at five-and-a-half times what Gableman's own campaign spent, and WiCFG also surpassed the Gableman campaign's spending, in a race he won by 20,000 votes.

In other words, if it weren't for the millions spent by WiCFG and WMC, Justices Gableman and Prosser might not be on the bench at all. Schmitz specifically asked the two to step aside in light of this apparent conflict-of-interest but declined.

By rescinding Schmitz' appointment as Special Prosecutor, it makes it much harder for him to challenge the justices' conflicts-of-interest before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Oh, then there's using hearsay and anecdotal right wing bullshit in the high courts decision:
The majority's "rationale simply seems invented to justify the pre-ordained desired result," Justice Abrahamson wrote in dissent. Abrahamson's dissent noted that, in July, "The majority opinion and Justice Ziegler's concurrence to the majority opinion relied on facts that were not in the record, citing blogs and media reports as authoritative sources on how the search warrants were executed." The justices' unquestioning endorsement of right-wing bloggers' unsubstantiated claims about unconstitutional "pre-dawn, armed, paramilitary-style raids" were repeated in lawsuits by groups tied to the investigation--and subsequently undermined by actual evidence.

Those allegations fell apart after prosecutors released a recording of the 2011 search, which showed a cordial and professional investigation. This matters, Abrahamson noted, because prosecutors are still being sued by the groups and individuals under investigation. The factual record in the John Doe case is necessary so prosecutors can mount a defense based on facts rather than the heated rhetoric advanced by the blogs and media outlets tied to the groups under investigation. But the prosecutors have been barred from intervening in the case--but the Court has gone out of its way to keep most filings secret. Abrahamson wrote, "Placing filings under seal is the exception to the rule. In the face of virtually total secrecy of filings since July 16, 2015, the public cannot understand the basis for the four justices' decisions," noting that the sealings "raises significant First Amendment, state constitutional, statutory, and common law issues, and may be challenged as erroneous." "Why the secrecy?," she asked.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Perhaps it is Chief Justice Abrahamson who should file the case with the Supreme Court and hire Schmitz as her lawyer.