Do I hear $1.7-million? Going once... | WisCommunity

Do I hear $1.7-million? Going once...

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman is indignant over a proposed rule that justices recuse themselves from cases involving a party that has given them $1.000 or more, the Journal Sentinel reports:

The sharpest questioning came from Justice Michael Gableman, who is fighting an ethics complaint that he lied in his 2008 campaign and who faces several requests from criminal defendants that he step aside in their cases.

He expressed doubts about a plan from the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin that would require judges to recuse themselves from cases involving those who gave them $1,000 or more, saying it "starts with a presumption that judges are going to be tainted by 1,000 and willing to throw a case for 1,000."

That would be selling themselves pretty cheaply.

So how about $1.7-million, the amount Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce spent in support of his vicious, racially-charged campaign against Louis Butler? Would that be enough to disqualify him from hearing cases in which WMC has an interest?

As the old joke about the indignant prostitite goes, "We've already establshed what you are; we're just arguing about the price."

UPDATE: You couldn't make this up. The court adopted a new rule,  4-3, with Gableman and Annette Ziegler, who both won with the aid of millions of dollars in expenditures by WMC, voting with the majority.  The rule says you don't have to recuse yourself from cases that involve WMC (for example) just because they got you elected and have an interest in the case. Where'd that rule come from? We'll let the Journal Sentinel explain:

The new rule was written by the Wisconsin Realtors Association and business lobbying group Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. The justices rejected competing proposals from the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and former Justice Bill Bablitch, who wanted to require judges to step aside if a lawyer or party to a case gave them more than a certain amount.

Also voting with the majority were David Prosser and Patricia Roggensack, the other conservatives on the court, after Prosser had finished the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign's Mike McCabe for recklessly impugning his integrity.

Published

October 28, 2009 - 6:14pm

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