March 15, 2011

"Will Wisconsin voters feel comfortable turning a judicial election into, in effect, a referendum on a law Democrats don’t like?"

"Will the other 3 Democratic-appointed Supreme Court judges play along with this slightly banana-republicy game? True, conservatives have often campaigned against liberal judges after unpopular rulings (e.g., Rose Bird in California). But it seems even worse, in terms of legal etiquette, to elect a judge in order to make a particular ruling, about a particular law, in a particular upcoming case."

Mickey Kaus says.

Carter Wood quotes Mickey (and me) and says:

Goo goo groups decried the "politicization" and campaign spending on the Supreme Court race in 2008 between Michael Gableman and Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler Jr., in which business generally supported Gableman and unions and trial lawyers spent heavily on Butler. Gableman won.
Gableman won using the kind of conservative judicial argument that was used (back in 1986) against Rose Bird: that his opponent takes an overly expansive view of the rights of the criminally accused. This argument presents the conservative candidate as properly judicial and the opponent as inappropriately activist. The liberal counterpart to that argument would be that the conservative opponent — in an inappropriate enthusiasm for locking up criminals —  refuses to see rights that really exist and would be seen under a properly judicial approach to decisionmaking.

This isn't the argument I've been hearing from Kloppenburg supporters. They're saying let's recoup political power through the judiciary and get a judge who will see judicial power as political and strike down the legislation passed by the democratic branches of government. This is the exact opposite of the argument that has worked in the past, and it should backfire against Kloppenburg. If Kloppenburg is the completely political candidate, then voters who want to preserve the integrity of the judiciary should vote for Prosser.

There's a debate between the 2 candidates on Monday night, and it will be live-streamed here. I expect to see JoAnne Kloppenburg strongly and clearly separate herself from the arguments the politicos are making on her behalf.

59 comments:

Pogo the Merciless said...

Puny voters must be nullified!

Control the legislature!
Control the judges!
Strike strike strike!

Bring those weakling taxpayers to their knees in worship of all that is progressive!

Thus have I spoken!

Franklin said...

As we've seen during this ugly demonstration of public employee union greed and thuggery though, Wisconsin is not the paragon of high minded civic virtue its supporters like to think (and portray) it as.

I think Kloppenburg will win in a walk.

I desperately with that weren't the case.

Franklin said...

*wish

(evidently I'm typing with a lisp)

EnigmatiCore said...

I, on the other hand, expect the fully Monty.

Mogget said...

Yeah, I fully expect her to make it clear that she's with the unions. Might be subtle, but she'll send all the "right" signals.

Ricardo said...

I don't understand the problem here. When it appeared that the Republicans might lose the election of 2000 to Al Gore, they did everything they needed to do to win, including getting the Supremes to throw the election. So why shouldn't Democrats who dislike Walker's reign push back against it? Republicans created the "do whatever it takes" playbook, and now they're whining that Democrats have finally learned the lesson.

Stop whining. This is how democracy works. It's messy. But it's ridiculous to tell the other side to "play by the rules". They are playing by the rules. End runs are allowed. It's all in the playbook.

(And yes, I wrote a lot of this tongue-in-cheek.)

The Drill SGT said...

This is the voice of world control. I bring you peace. It may be the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death. The choice is yours: Obey me and live, or disobey and die.

Mogget said...

Then again, she really doesn't have to say or do anything to indicate any stance on the matter.

It's not like the unions are going to support someone else.

edutcher said...

The Left has regarded the appellate courts as a second legislature ever since FDR's court packing scheme.

They know they can't win electorally, so they do an end run around the people. That's what this is about.

I think Ann's hope Kloppenberg separates herself from the politicos is that creamy hippie love chick coming through again. Not unlike her wonda in the rotunda.

She (Ann) really does want everything to turn out all wonderful and for everybody to be happy. Lady has a big heart.

Pogo said...

"It's all in the playbook."

Essentially, votes are meaningless.

Whatever the outcome of any decision, if it goes against you, there is a way to nullify it.

What you wrote simply means that our Constitution is just meaningless bullshit, as one need never accept the outcome of any vote or decision ever.

Thomas said...

This is what democracy looks like: the judicial nullification of legislative enactments for transparently partisan reasons.

Revenant said...

Judicial elections have low turnout, which means they can be swung by a motivated minority even if most of the population wants the other guy.

I predict Kloppenburg will win handily. An interesting question will be whether she then recuses herself from the case. :)

m stone said...

Political agenda stemming from anger---not even that righteous---never produces good results.

That's a law of the universe. But my mother knew it well.

Maguro said...

I think if this were an an ordinary election you'd be right and Kloppenburg would be careful to present herself as non-political. However, the amount of energy and organizational support that the union side has right now makes it very tempting for a judge to sort of wink at the union supporters and subtly (or not so subtly) let them know that she's really on their side.

Irene said...

Kloppenburg's Facebook page lists her occupation as "politician."

Oopsie.

shoutingthomas said...

When it appeared that the Republicans might lose the election of 2000 to Al Gore, they did everything they needed to do to win, including getting the Supremes to throw the election.

How in God's name do you explain this nonsense?

There are certainly a lot of completely daft people in this world.

There is nothing so goofy that you can't find one fool who believes it.

garage mahal said...

Essentially, votes are meaningless.

There is anti-immigration group in Utah doing recalls on Democrats too. Yes Utah.

Fitzgerald's next move will be writing a new law on a bar napkin stating recalls are illegal. But his lawyer friend he hired said it's all legit!

Skyler said...

The people wanting these recalls and this judge elected are the same sort that have been stuffing ballot boxes across the country the past several years. I hope their opponents wise up to the threat.

They should not underestimate the level of thuggery that these people will stoop to.

pbAndj said...

"But his lawyer friend he hired said it's all legit!"

Did Althouse need to get another job, to make up for the pay cut?

Almost Ali said...

Kloppenburg's Facebook page lists her occupation as "politician."

(i.e., prostitute)

Crimso said...

"I don't understand the problem here."

This not surprising, given your complete and utter lack of understanding of what happened in 2000.

Pogo said...

School bond issues are the same way. The tax increases they want keep getting defeated, and every year there it is again.

We need a Hell, no! vote.

Carol_Herman said...

Gosh, after cars got "keyed" for having political bumper stickers. To say nothing of the fools who had to peel off their stickers back in 2000 ...

And, of course, NO MORE BUTTONS!

(I have a Ross Perot button. So I guess 1992 was the last year for buttons?)

What's head on April 5th? No one can do predictions. As Don Rumsfeld said, the future is an "UNKNOWN, UNKNOWN."

On the other hand, there's something about "enthusiasm. Where this race was held and Prosser WON. This Koppenburg woman only got 25% of the vote, then.

Ah. And, where will the ENTHUSIASM FALL?

Will the unions try to stuff the ballots? Will we have areas that have more "votes" than people qualified to vote?

If banks didn't use vaults, money would be stollen! So stop acting surprised that votes get stolen.

But before the "stealing" ... you also get the media manipulation. Where does this fall in Wisconsin, I do not know.

But as a subject here? Gist for the mill! More reasons people are coming back, to READ.

Isn't it wonderful so many people read, and the bumper sticker "thank a teacher" is no longer applied to people's cars.

Pogo said...

It's the continuous campaign by Democrats. It never effing ends.

They lose a vote, they legislate by judiciary.

They lose that way, they legislate by strikes.

They lose that way, they legislate by unelected and unaccountable regulatory agencies.

It's Whack-a-Mole politics, 24/7.

James said...

I think Kloppenburg will win in a walk.

I desperately with that weren't the case.


Really? How did she do in the open primary?

Clairvius Narcisse said...

elections are political

rocketeer67 said...

I presume justices can be impeached in Wisconsin, and that the Republican-controlled legislature is the body to do it?

I mean, I'm just trying to anticipate the next move in Platonic-Civic-Model Wisconsin.

Alex said...

Whatever the outcome of any decision, if it goes against you, there is a way to nullify it.

It's called democracy - tough shit.

Alex said...

So now conservatives are saying - WE WON, roll over liberals? That's not how a republic works. Sure a banana republic, if that's what you Koch-brother loving 'bagger types want.

Alex said...

t's Whack-a-Mole politics, 24/7.

Def not for wimps like you. You think progressives are just going to stand by and let 'baggers RIP away their god-given human rights?

MadisonMan said...

Kloppenburg's Facebook page lists her occupation as "politician."

That's not her personal page, but a Candidate page, which is why I suspect she's listed as a politician.

I'm voting for her, because she's my near-neighbor. I'm voting for Tom Farley for the same reason (among others, that I won't list here) -- in fact, they almost live across the street from each other.

rocketeer67 said...

So now conservatives are saying - WE WON, roll over liberals? That's not how a republic works.

Uh, actually? That is how our republic usually works, albeit on 2, 4 and 6 year cycles.

I'm surprised your other personalities haven't pointed that out to this one.

Pogo said...

Politics by any means necessary is not democracy.

It's mobocracy.

Alex said...

HEY HEY HO HO NO NO WE WON'T GO!!!!!

Just say NO to 'baggers and their lies, re-elect Obama and Social Justice!

rocketeer67 said...

I'm voting for her, because she's my near-neighbor.

Wow. I guess I should just thankful Mubarak didn't flee tbe o your neighborhood and decide to run for office.

James said...

Wisconsin Supreme Court Primary results from the overnment Accountability Board.

David T. Prosser - 231,017 - 54.99%
Joanne F. Kloppenburg - 105,002 - 24.99%
Marla Stephens - 45,256 - 10.77%
Joel Winnig - 37,831 - 9.01%
Other - 1,004 - 0.24%

Prosser won more votes in the open primary than the three liberal candidates combined. And this occurred without groups like AFP and the Tea Party being particularly active. When both sides mobilize the result will be that Prosser still wins.

Until Loophole Louis was defeated by Gableman, no sitting Wisconsin Supreme Court had lost an election in over 40 years.

MadisonMan said...

rocketeer, you wouldn't vote for a neighbor for a public office? Really? Is that a statement on you or your neighborhood, or both?

I admire anyone who has the guts to run for office. Meeting all those strangers would be horrible for me. I see JK at school functions, walking around the neighborhood, chatting with others. A nicely normal person.

edutcher said...

Well, Ann and Meade photographed the SEIU bus yesterday, so we know all the dirty tricks will be employed.

EDH said...

If I'm not mistaken:

1.) Kloppenburg, if elected, is likely to be in a position to join a majority overturning the legislation only on procedural grounds.

2.) The unions would have to change the composition of the legislature to make the invalidation permanent, hence their recall effort.

3.) Can't the Republican-dominated legislature re-pass the law, carefully addressing the procedural issue, before the case reaches the high court?

Have I got this right?

rocketeer67 said...

rocketeer, you wouldn't vote for a neighbor for a public office? Really? Is that a statement on you or your neighborhood, or both?

Just because they're my neighbor? Uh, NO. And yes, that's a statement about me. A rather GOOD statement.

Also, it's a rather bad statement about you, MM, one that I'm pretty surprised about.

AJ Lynch said...

She's is your law school colleague right? Can you say- has she sought your advice?

PaulV said...

Turnout should be high on both sides. What is Kloppenburg's record as prosecutor? Did she put away lots of poor single mothers and minorities?

WV: jiberato - dance and singing craze by WI mob protesters

MayBee said...

I admire anyone who has the guts to run for office. Meeting all those strangers would be horrible for me. I see JK at school functions, walking around the neighborhood, chatting with others. A nicely normal person.

I think it's nice to vote for neighbors, but it certainly can't hurt that she seems to fit your political POV.

MikeR said...

Can someone explain exactly how the judge is supposed to overturn this result? Aren't the Democratic senators ever going to come back? At that point, can't the senate just pass the original version of the bill if there's any issue?

MadisonMan said...

Also, it's a rather bad statement about you, MM, one that I'm pretty surprised about.

Or is it a good statement about my neighborhood?

I like my neighbors, and think they're good people. I'd rather have a good person with an ideology that I disagree with than a mediocrity I agree with in office.

MayBee said...

I had a neighbor I didn't vote to put on the school board because she was dangerously close to believing people walked with the dinosaurs. She was a fine neighbor, though. Nice yard.

Carol_Herman said...

Maybe, it's like Gettysburg? The fight Lincoln said "no one would remember." His speech took five minutes to give.

Governor Walker, meanwhile, new to the plate. Enters. And, SWINGS.

I think he hit a homer.

As to Koppenburg, it runs against her that everyone seems to know this special election is being held on April 5th.

The UNKNOWN are how the majority reacts. Given that Prosser did so well in the primary ... wouldn't you say (if this was batting averages) ??? That he had an advantage?

How many special elections have there been "in your time" ... where you know the date's coming?

I'm just asking.

I don't know what's gonna happen.

But "IF" Koppenberg doesn't win ... will that reflect off of Wisconsin Cheese? Will sales go up?

Have the thugs terrorized enough people, yet? Does everything have to end up looking like Detroit?

MadisonMan said...

but it certainly can't hurt that she seems to fit your political POV.

Oh, I think she's far more liberal than I am.

But she's not the incumbent. If I am anything, I'm an anti-incumbent.

MayBee said...

Oh, I think she's far more liberal than I am.

But am I right in thinking that you kinda believe the procedures the GOP used might have been illegal, and throwing the law out might just be the right thing?

Crimso said...

"If I am anything, I'm an anti-incumbent."

So when you vote for someone, you are in effect helping them to become someone you won't vote for in the future.

MadisonMan said...

that you kinda believe the procedures the GOP used might have been illegal

On that I have no idea. It's an interesting thing to blog about, but throwing out the law on a procedural snafu is wishful thinking by partisans, IMO.

@Crimso, I never really thought of it that way (laugh). I didn't really vote Soglin out so I could vote for him again. But maybe I will, even though Mayor Dave is a neighbor.

rocketeer67 said...

Or is it a good statement about my neighborhood?

Not inherently, no. You do realize that, don't you?

I like my neighbors, and think they're good people. I'd rather have a good person with an ideology that I disagree with than a mediocrity I agree with in office.

That's a rather dopey blanket statement that you can't possibly believe is true in all cases.

MadisonMan said...

When you see the word because, do you insert an only in front of it, or an in part?

(Going back to my 11:34 comment)

bgates said...

they did everything they needed to do to win, including getting a majority of votes in the Electoral College. The end.

I like my neighbors, and think they're good people.

Google Maps has revolutionized voting, hasn't it? Because you can just look up the driving times to each candidate's house, and the decision is made. Easy-peasy.

rocketeer67 said...

When you see the word because, do you insert an only in front of it, or an in part?

(Going back to my 11:34 comment)


I don't insert anything in front of it. Should I? Don't you type what you mean? Is there some set of guidelines you've published somewhere to clue me in about the universally accepted assumptions I'm supposed to make in reading your comments?

MadisonMan said...

Sometimes I don't write clearly.

MadisonMan said...

That's all you need to know :)

rocketeer67 said...

Well, you sell yourself short I think. You're generally precise in communicating your meaning. So perhaps you can see why I found your 11:34 statement a bit surprising and alarming?

dick said...

I am surprised that they are even having another election for the judgeship. From most of the elections I have read about, if one candidate takes over half the votes in the primary,then that candidate is deemed to win and there is no runoff.