Friday, February 8, 2013

Justice Roggensack insists activism, threats and physical altercations "gossip at its worst." That old Jedi mind trick won't work on me.

I hate to use another Star Wars quote here, but you can almost hear Justice Roggensack saying, "I am not the conservative activist justice you're looking for."

But since she doesn't have Jedi powers, her tricks won't work. 

There’s no question the Wisconsin Supreme Court is dysfunctional, with a roguish band of activist conservative justices that have bent over backwards to quickly advance the legislatures political agenda. Its attempted power grab to change the way the chief justice is chosen, along with threats and physical altercations that have embarrassed the state nationally, should no longer be tolerated.

And that’s why candidate Ed Fallone let Justice Roggensack have it:
jsonline: Two challengers to incumbent Justice Patience Roggensack let her and the audience know that they think the high court needs reform that only a change of personnel can bring.

Ed Fallone, a Marquette University law professor, criticized Roggensack for recusing herself from hearing an ethics complaint against Justice David Prosser over his 2011 physical altercation with Justice Ann Bradley and for supporting closure of certain administrative conferences that had long been held in public.

He cast the court as "completely dysfunctional," hamstrung by incivility that even extends to "personal sniping in (published) opinions."
Remember the rogue’s gallery of extremist Republican supporters that turned out to celebrate David Prosser’s reelection win? Nothing screamed activist justice after all the Prosser thank you's? But in the fantasy world of conservatism, Prosser’s threats to the chief justice and choking incident were supposedly “just a bunch of gossip at it’s worst.”
Roggensack called the talk of dysfunction and incivility on the seven-member court "just a bunch of gossip at its worst" … Roggensack insisted the law required her recusal from hearing the ethics complaint because she was a witness.
But is that what the law required?
Fallone strongly challenged that assertion. He said a disciplinary proceeding is neither a civil nor criminal case and that Roggensack could have sat in judgment of Prosser's conduct. He was also skeptical of any vague, undefined inherent authority of the court to arrive at its own closure of the matter.

"I'm a process conservative," he said, and he believes the procedures already in place for reviewing judicial misconduct provide a complete, tested and fair way to address the complaint against Prosser.

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