Saturday, June 21, 2014

Judge Randa Blocks Media Access to John Doe 2 Documents to hide possible Walker Lawbreaking.

Republicans have touted the wonders of conservative judges and justices for the last decade. They aren't shy about nominating strictly conservative candidates. And no one seems to think that’s odd. Due to that, activist conservative judges have never felt more arrogant and powerful. They’re now rewriting law and legislating from the bench. Like Judge Rudy Randa.

Referenced in a nice piece at Rock Netroots, it appears Judge Rudy Randa’s partisan nature bubbled over:
Wisconsin Reporter: In a scorching critique, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Randa verbally hammers the prosecutors in a politically charged John Doe investigation for seeking “refuge in the Court of Public Opinion, having lost in this Court of law.” The federal judge’s stinging assessment of the prosecutors-turned defendants in a civil rights lawsuit came in a ruling Thursday that rejects in part unsealing a raft of records related to the investigation, a move that Randa believes is needed to protect two unnamed intervenors in the matter.

The prosecutors, in a filing last month, criticized conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and his Wisconsin Club for growth ... “(It is) beyond irony that the plaintiffs and their counsel now ask the Court to block media access to the documents that outline the investigation and detail the reasons why the plaintiffs’ conduct was subject to scrutiny,” the prosecutors claimed.
Is Walker Guilty of Coordinated Spending in Violation of Campaign Law? Here’s a legal look at the possible violation:
jsonline: Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California-Irvine who authors a popular blog on election law, said Thursday that the Citizens United case didn't go quite as far as many people think it did. The ruling left intact certain limits on coordinating such spending with candidates or their campaigns, restrictions similar to the Wisconsin laws.

"We're talking Wisconsin law" in the John Doe case, Hasen said, "but it’s fairly analogous. All kinds of issue advocacy can count as coordination, and therefore be illegal," depending on the specifics. Both Hasen and another election law expert, Ohio State University law professor Daniel Tokaji, think Randa's interpretations of the law will not be shared by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

"I was flabbergasted by some of the things he said that were like applauding coordination," Hasen said. Tokaji said coordination is illegal for good reason, because it "raises the specter of corruption," and the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the purpose of preventing the exchange of cash for political favors. He said the new documents don't suggest the prosecutors looking into the Walker campaign were biased.

Ilya Shapiro, from the Cato Institute, called Thursday's developments "sort of a non-story" and a "fishing expedition" that doesn't change anything. Shapiro predicts the 7th Circuit will affirm Randa's findings but "with less sweeping rhetoric" on narrower grounds.

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