Supreme Court Race Endorsement: Judge Rebecca Dallet

It may be something of a surprise that I am endorsing Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge Rebecca Dallet in the Supreme Court primary this coming Tuesday February 20, 2018. Yes she is not the most liberal and not exactly an openly Democratic candidate despite speaking at last year’s Democratic Party of Wisconsin convention.

But being the most moderate in the the group is a plus for me. Yes the current Wisconsin Supreme Court is unbalanced and heavily conservative…and yes we need new justices on the bench to moderate the court…but I don’t think electing a full blown liberal is the best route to take.

I also like that Judge Dallet has been a judge for more than a few years…has already won elected office…and that before joining the circuit court was a lawyer in a variety of other positions in the criminal justice system. To be effective on the current court…I think we need some real courtroom experience.

Her opponents are Madison attorney Tim Burns…the professed liberal who is a very successful corporate attorney. I feel that he could be a divisive factor on the court and I am not comfortable with his experience as a lawyer.

Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Michael Screnock is the avowed conservative in the race. He was a defender of Governor Walker’s attack on public unions, was appointed to his position by Governor Walker and is endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

Now, whom ever you support in the race…remember to vote this Tuesday!!

Wisconsin Supreme Court primary on Feb. 20 will leave just two

And the candidates web sites:

Judge Rebecca Dallet for Supreme Court

Burns for Wisconsin

Judge Michael Screnock for Wisconsin Supreme Court

I Am Already Tired of Tim Burns

For those of you who aren’t following the Wisconsin State Supreme Court race yet, Tim Burns is a Madison lawyer who is running for the seat currently held by Justice Michael Gableman. I heard him speak at the 2017 Democratic Party of Wisconsin Convention and was eager to see how his campaign would unfold.

Well I am tired of his already. And no, not because of the daily emails from his campaign. I expect that and have the same volume of emails from a lot of candidates running for elected offices in 2018.

No I am tired of his negative advertising campaign against opponent Judge Michael Screnock. Now I realize that state Supreme Court races have grown far more partisan over the last dozen years and parties are far more involved than I remember. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article a few weeks ago detailing a number of protest incidents thirty years ago that resulted in Judge Screnock’s arrest. The media did it’s job and wrote about a candidate’s history. Something that the electorate might be interested in. Should be end of story.

But Mr. Burns has continually targeted advertising in social media linking to the MJS story…day after day after day. Along with comments questioning Judge Screnock’s bias or ability to be fair. I am tired of looking at it every time I log in.

I don’t support Judge Screnock’s views. I would never consider voting for him. But I hate the level of conversation this race as taken this early in the campaign. This is beneath the level of discourse we should be having in a Supreme Court race. This is demeaning. This is mean spirited. For me it rules out Tim Burns as a candidate. Can’t we even run a court race without sinking to this? There aren’t points of law that Wisconsin cares about that can’t be discussed instead?

WI Supreme Court Orders Doe Investigation Documents Released

In a story that apparently got lost in the events around the Inauguration on Friday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered the release of documents related to the John Doe investigations into Governor Walker’s campaigns.

The documents will be heavily redacted so it isn’t really clear how useful they will be to the public in determining what actually went on and if District Attorney John Chisholm had cause to pursue the case. That is an issue that Walker supporters have been arguing since day one.

The court ordered that several dozen documents be made available to the public. It is unclear how heavily redacted the documents will be.

What is odd is who on the court was involved and who wasn’t.

Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson partially dissented from the decision, saying she favored the release of the documents but did not agree that all the redactions were necessary or consistent. Justices Ann Walsh Bradley, Rebecca Grassl Bradley and Daniel Kelly did not participate.

How valid is a court ruling if three justices don’t even participate? And hopefully the reasons they didn’t participate will be disclosed in upcoming news items.

Governor Walker Appoints WHO to the WI Supreme Court?

Now the odds on my disliking a Supreme Court justice appointment by Governor Scott Walker is probably 100%. But could he have chosen a more unqualified candidate? Could it be any more blatantly partisan? He selects an almost unknown lawyer with no judicial experience with plenty of partisan activism, who wanted to keep is application a secret…WTF?

Gov. Scott Walker on Friday named a little-known Waukesha lawyer with no judicial experience to the state Supreme Court, putting Daniel Kelly on the bench and keeping in place the high court’s 5-2 conservative majority.

Kelly — who in his application called affirmative action and slavery the same morally — will replace retiring Justice David Prosser on Aug. 1, the start of the court’s new term.

Kelly, 52, initially applied for the appointment in secret, but his name became public in June, when Walker’s team narrowed the field of candidates from 11 to five.

Kelly took just one question from reporters after Walker announced the appointment in the state Capitol, but he declined to discuss his writings opposing affirmative action and gay marriage.

“The primary and only job of a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice is to apply the law as it is written and the oath that I will take will guarantee to you that my personal political beliefs and political philosophy will have no impact on that whatsoever,” Kelly said. “Those things simply have no place inside the courtroom.”

Kelly was an adviser to state Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley’s campaign this year and served as an attorney on Prosser’s campaign during a recount after he narrowly won re-election in 2011.

This has turned into an utter and complete joke…by anybody standards! Governor Walker now has negative credibility!

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser Set To Retire

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Justice Prosser is retiring in July:

State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, a conservative whose opinions helped solidify a series of controversial changes in state law in recent years but was also known for his physical confrontation with a colleague, announced Wednesday he will retire in July.

Prosser’s retirement comes after 18 years on the court and five years before his current 10-year term ends. Gov. Scott Walker will need to appoint a justice to replace Prosser, part of the court’s 5-2 right-leaning majority.

State law requires Walker’s appointee to serve until the next spring election that does not have a Supreme Court justice on the ballot, according to Walker spokesman Jack Jablonski, which is 2020.