March 18, 2012

"29 Wisconsin Judges Sign Walker Recall Petition."

"That’s 12 percent, and it’s not just abstract advocacy."
"Dane County Judge David Flanagan has been under fire for not disclosing his support of the recall before he issued a temporary restraining order against a Walker-backed voter ID law." It’s like these people don’t believe in civil society or something.

The left has often invoked the authority of law and the learned professions, but Wisconsin — from things like this to the phony doctors’ excuses for protesters — is suggesting that they’re just a bunch of partisan tools.
ADDED: Why would a judge sign a recall petition? You're just one name. It can't make that much difference. And then there you are, your reputation shot to hell. You're politicized. Biased. All those things you strive to deny when you assume the role of judge.

The linked AP article shows that "none of the state's 16 appeals court judges or seven Supreme Court justices signed the petition." That is a relief.

31 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

I like your use of the word "suggesting" - such a nice lady.

Ann, let the scales fall from your eyes. You've watched this for some time now. They're doing these things. They ARE tools. They're also dangerous.

They should be regarded as nothing less.

MadisonMan said...

The biggest myth in Wisconsin? That judges aren't political.

Ann Althouse said...

"I like your use of the word "suggesting" - such a nice lady."

You don't realize the indented stuff is a quote?

That was no lady. That was Glenn Reynolds.

Kit said...

Janine Geske's got it right.

Ann Althouse said...

"The biggest myth in Wisconsin? That judges aren't political."

Biggest myth? How big can it be if no one believes it?

My point is that they should have the sense to hide it.

Beta Rube said...

The Milwaukee County DA is using the triple secret John Doe probe to create useful leaks as required. Essentially running the most important part of the recall effort form his tax payer funded office.

The fix is completely in on this one, and Walker is going to win decisively anyway.

DADvocate said...

To quote Stanley Fish, via Insty, "moral superiority comes from being on the left, so therefore being on the left means you can really do no fundamental moral wrong."

When you're morally superior, you don't need to hide it, you flaunt it as much as possible. Fish has encapsulated the essence of the left, which easily justifies judges being politically active, as longs as they're lefties.

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

Twelve percent of the nonappellate judiciary signing a recall petition doesn't have to be a significant issue.

Why shouldn't judges at that level be given maximum latitude to express themselves politically as citizens?

But when a jurist-citizen exercises that right it should be with the knowledge and the ethics not to then preside over the relevant parties or the subject matter of the recall petition, in its pendency, while evading disclosure and recusal.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann Althouse,

My point is that they should have the sense to hide it.

Why, oh why do you say things like this? Wait - you're a liberal:

You don't have the sense to hide it.

Boy, I would give ANYTHING to see a little integrity around here,...

Mitch said...

It's OK, they're just checking the box that says "We're normal, rational, compassionate people." Nothing to see here, move along.

Doc Merlin said...

Are they elected judges? maybe their district is extremely left leaning?

garage mahal said...

According to the state's Code of Judicial Conduct, judges cannot participate in activities of a political party or candidate and should avoid "the appearance of impropriety."

But a sitting state supreme court justice can take free legal representation from a law firm defending him from ethics charges, and then in return rule in that law firm's favor. Nothing wrong with that at all. Right A-House? Crock meet peddle.

John Cunningham said...

The signers real motive is to express their adherence to the Party line, since anything the Left wants is by definition right, moral, and proper. any judge who failed to sign could be attacked at the next cell meeting.

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

Why would a judge sign a recall petition? You're just one name. It can't make that much difference. And then there you are, your reputation shot to hell. You're politicized. Biased. All those things you strive to deny when you assume the role of judge.

Great point, Annie!

You know what else shoots a judge's reputation for political objectivity to hell? Voting! That's right. Why should a judge get to hide his political biases by taking part in the same process that every other citizen does? Do these judicial activists think they can hide behind the veil of the voting booth and be thought of as objective? Get out in the open, you sekrit citizen-judge-voters!

Now we're on to you... manipulating the political process and subjecting us to your juridically inappropriate opinions through your sekrit ballot hookus pokus. For shame!

walter said...

Are judges public sector employees? They have to sign petitions and drive appropriately be-stickered vehicles to fit in. I have had the (mis)pleasure of being in the company of Dane and Milwaukee cty judges and attorneys and have been struck by the candor of their anti-Walker comments.
All about the bennies and Benjamins, I'm afraid.

Andy Freeman said...

Fish ended his justification of double-standards with "It implies finally that might makes right. I can live with that."

Good to know, but I do wonder why a smart guy would choose that battleground.

http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/12/two-cheers-for-double-standards/

James said...

Excellent reasoning by Judge Kahn:

""What I did by signing the recall petition is say that the people of Wisconsin should be allowed to vote again for governor," said Milwaukee County Judge Charles F. Kahn Jr. "I did not support any candidate and I did not support any political party. This is a substantial and important distinction.""

Why should we have to vote again if it isn't because Kahn and others of his ilk didn't like the result the last election?

walter said...

"What I did by signing the recall petition is say that the people of Wisconsin should be allowed to vote again for governor,"

Heh..perpetual elections are pro democracy ;) Ah...the elevated intellect of the judiciary...

Carnifex said...

Wow! People are people! In other news water was found to be wet. To expect judges to renounce their humanity is naive, to expect them to hide it is hypocrisy.

I don't understand why lawyers, and judges by extension, because almost all judges are former lawyers, are surprised at how low they are held in regard by the American people. It's because we see the hypocrisy, we see the sweetheart deals made with politicians. We see the gaming of the system by lawyers, and judges. You have a case before this judge, you better get that lawyer, they're in the same club. Oh, that judge gets donations from that industry? You might as well not bother.

Story time.(I got a million stories, some even have a bit of truth in 'em).

This one is 100% true. Friend of mine as the day shift manager for maintenance at one of the largest plants here in town. A cush job in the vernacular, well paid, and make sure the floor was waxed and the lights worked. He had a crew of about 20 underlings. One night the brass pulls a surprise inspection, on the night crew. Totally different crew, of about seven, managed by a totally different guy. The brass found 5 of the seven sleeping. Next day my buddy is fired for this. He goes to the lawyer for a wrongful firing offense. Lawyer won't take the case. Goes to a second, a third, a fourth. None will take his case. He finally asks the fourth lawyer "What the wide, wide, world of sports is going on here?" The fourth lawyer tells him that 1) his case is absolutely legitimate 2)no lawyer in this town will take his case for a couple of reasons...the manager of the night shift was black, they weren't about to fire HIM, that would leave the company open to charges of racism. And no lawyer was about to take on the money that this company gives to the politicians, judges, charities etc, because they would lose the case, and never find work again.

If I ever go to trial for anything, I just pray I get a judge who won't shit on me, or my rights...anything else is a fantasy. Expect justice? HAH! Judges are the Spanish Inquisition of our times. Both the over reach, and the cowardice, of the SCOTUS is all the proof I need.

Over reach in that travesty of a decision that eliminates property rights in America, and cowardice in refusing to hear any cases against Obama's eligibility.

I believe Mick is 100% right about Obama not being eligible to hold the office. Especially after the Arpaio investigation. And I wish him luck in his lawsuit in Florida. But I'm a pragmatist. No judge, not a one in this country, has the balls to do what is right and rule against him. For 2 reasons. They would be vilified in the press till the end of time. And fear for their lives from angry black overreaction.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"My point is that they should have the sense to hide it."

A point with no point.

As Carnifex points out, judges have largely removed the blindfold and placed it upon the scale/side of their political party/ideology.

'Justice' is for sale, whether it be 'Benjamins' or political favor. Truly sickening.

So corrupt its beyond repair.

edutcher said...

I believe the phrase is, "Ya dance with the one that brung ya".

Or at least puts the money on the nightstand.

Moneyrunner said...

One thing you can say about legal corruption in Wisconsin: it’s right out in the open. In other states (not Illinois) the corruption is sub rosa.

Rusty said...

garage mahal said...
According to the state's Code of Judicial Conduct, judges cannot participate in activities of a political party or candidate and should avoid "the appearance of impropriety."

But a sitting state supreme court justice can take free legal representation from a law firm defending him from ethics charges, and then in return rule in that law firm's favor. Nothing wrong with that at all. Right A-House? Crock meet peddle.



Got a link, there, sport? Not that you aren't trusted.

A.W. said...

i won't say that a judge should never sign those things. a judge should have the right to participate in democracy as much as anyone else, but...

then the ones who sign it should not sit on the case.

carrie said...

Some circuit court judges care more about re-election than illusions of judicial impartiality. I don't think that judicial impartiality is particularly valued in Madison (as long as you are parital on the correct side).

Fritz said...

Ask the judge if he'd sign his own recall petition.

SGT Ted said...

"Ya dance with the one that brung ya".

Yea, but now he's saying "It puts the lotion on its skin, or it gets the hose again." Not very nice.

SGT Ted said...

""What I did by signing the recall petition is say that the people of Wisconsin should be allowed to vote again for governor," said Milwaukee County Judge Charles F. Kahn Jr. "I did not support any candidate and I did not support any political party. This is a substantial and important distinction.""

Oh, look! A self cancelling phrase. Only a lawyer would think this statement clever. "My signature for the recall election wasn't for the recall election. It was for the Recall Election."

And lawyers wonder why their profession isn't so popular.

Anthony said...

I hope that Governor Walker instructs the State Attorneys to demand that each and every one of those judges recuse themselves in *any* election case that is about Walker or has the State government as a party.

Every single time.