May 5, 2015

"The Destruction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court," by Lincoln Caplan.

In The New Yorker. I thought you should know.
When addressing a case like the John Doe inquiry, with the election of a controversial governor and now an undeclared Presidential candidate at its core, the Wisconsin Supreme Court should be seen as above the fray, beyond price, and wholly independent. Instead, contrary to the ideal that John Roberts described in [Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar], all of the Wisconsin justices look a lot like politicians, in particular the conservatives, who came to the bench with the support of powerful and aggressive political groups. Those justices’ integrity is compromised, as plainly as if they had personally solicited every dollar that helped elect them — and that helped drag the standing of their court so low.
All judges look like politicians, especially the conservatives. And all New Yorker writers who write about judges look like politicians, especially when they write about conservatives.

ADDED: Amusingly, The New Yorker points me to a March 5, 2012 article titled: "The Storm/Did a governor’s anti-union crusade backfire?" The answer, it turned out, was: no.

52 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

I don't know why Lincoln Caplan came up twice this morning (as I go about my normal routine of looking for things to blog about).

CWJ said...

That Lincol Caplan quote reads like Garage Mahal only more lucid.

Mike Sylwester said...

The New Yorker has funny cartoons.

Tank said...

What will you do without a Supreme Court?

Douglas said...

I used to read the New Yorker. Now if I see one in a doctor's office or airport magazine shop, I'll look at the cartoons. They're still pretty good.

Alex said...

The New Yorker is the Der Sturmer of 2015.

great Unknown said...

Yes indeedy, them conservatives are powerful and aggressive. You can tell because they're always running John Doe investigations and using Stasi tactics like pre-dawn raids.

Them libruls would never do something like that, because they're meek and humble.

furious_a said...

When your side loses the election, trash the process.

Mark said...

Seems like John Doe raids were no more harsh than what happens with pot dealers or black traffic stops ... guns, over the top searches, humiliation as desired outcome.

Where areas all the conservatives when cops are doing the same to other people?

A good friends college roommate was accused of selling pot, the entire house full of guys was ransacked by cops because of it. Go to a poor neighborhood and ask ... these Doe raid practices are par for the course.

Maybe it gets sympathy from the rich old white people contingent, but the rest of us hear these breathless claims and laugh at the reactions of those who never have seen police 'work'.

Sebastian said...

"in particular the conservatives"

Why stop at the WI Supreme Court?

Doesn't it portend the destruction of America, nay the planet?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Mark said...

Seems like John Doe raids were no more harsh than what happens with pot dealers or black traffic stops ... guns, over the top searches, humiliation as desired outcome.

So you see no problem with Democrats treating political opponents as criminals for exercising their first amendment rights?

And do you have any examples of a drug dealer or a traffic-stopped motorist being told that they are prohibited from speaking to anyone about the incident, even their lawyer? Link please!

n.n said...

The political and social "Theory of Relativity" or equivalence is also constructed with a frame of reference, or is it a cage?

The composition of society/universe has created a context that is easily misinterpreted -- or perhaps mischaracterized -- as progress/expansion.

damikesc said...

Where areas all the conservatives when cops are doing the same to other people?

Conservatives have been against no knock raids and the like for a while.

Do try and keep up.

And the banning of talking to a lawyer or anybody else seems unusual. Can you cite when drug dealers dealt with it?

Maybe it gets sympathy from the rich old white people contingent, but the rest of us hear these breathless claims and laugh at the reactions of those who never have seen police 'work'.

So your professed outrage over police mistreatment of people is just bullshit.

Thanks for clarifying.

So you see no problem with Democrats treating political opponents as criminals for exercising their first amendment rights?

You're asking that of a Progressive. They've NEVER cared. That is why McCarthyism is so "evil" but the Palmer Raids are basically ignored and, hell, were probably "America's" fault anyways.

damikesc said...

And John Roberts should decide cases based on law and not his ideals on what society should be.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Same as everyone else, the Wisconsin justices put their robes on one leg at a time.

MayBee said...

I think he's right. The conservatives go to the bench with the support of powerful and aggressive political groups. The liberals go to the bench with the support of right-thinking, scrappy groups who represent the people the author agrees with.

Wilbur said...

I just read that 2012 article.

Tears swelled as I read about those courageous, principled petition gatherers.

From the tone of that article, Walker supporters were corporate anti-working man plutocrats, or foul-mouthed, dim-witted Archie Bunkers.

How did he win the recall? Did he rig the vote? He must've, because there can't be that many purely evil people in Wisconsin, right?

damikesc said...

I think he's right. The conservatives go to the bench with the support of powerful and aggressive political groups. The liberals go to the bench with the support of right-thinking, scrappy groups who represent the people the author agrees with.

Indeed.

I love that the Kochs are trying to "buy" elections but Tom Steyer, who spend over FOURTEEN TIMES WHAT THEY SPENT --- he's cool.

Sam L. said...

NYT: Not a non-partisan paper, and of questionable veracity.

FleetUSA said...

Libs have trouble with democracy and freedom of speech.

tim in vermont said...

Theme of the day, the press are partisan Democrats.

kcom said...

If I remember correctly, didn't one of the non-political liberal justices (Shirley Abrahamson?) want to delay the announcement and implementation of the Act 10 decision... just because. That "just because" had awfully political overtones to it. If the decision was made and it was the law, why wait? The waiting seemed to be because of the political implications. Acting under the old paradigm was better for her side so she wanted to pretend the new paradigm didn't exist as long as possible.

Anybody else remember that? Or was it just a feverish dream?

rehajm said...

Sufficient time has passed lessening the risk of factual reporting conflicting with revisionist history. Let the revisionism begin!

As predictable and greasy as the Clintons.

khematite@aol.com said...

Plus, in this week's New Yorker, a puff piece by Jeffrey Toobin, about DA John Chisholm's concern for racial equality in the criminal justice system.

Don't see anything about Chisholm's apparently minimal interest in the First Amendment, however.

Unknown said...

wait, REPUBLICANS were responsible for the witch hunt aimed at damaging Walker?

garage mahal said...

wait, REPUBLICANS were responsible for the witch hunt aimed at damaging Walker?

Noooooooooo! THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!

jr565 said...

"all of the Wisconsin justices look a lot like politicians, in particular the conservatives, who came to the bench with the support of powerful and aggressive political groups. "
ANd on the supremes half the court look like leglislators, rather than justices.

Fernandinande said...

Sebastian said...
"in particular the conservatives"
Why stop at the WI Supreme Court?
Doesn't it portend the destruction of America, nay the planet?


The Four Conservatives of the Apocalypse.

Dave in Tucson said...

> conservatives, who came to the bench with the support of powerful and aggressive political groups

By which, of course, they mean "insufficiently supine and pliant for our tastes"

Gusty Winds said...

Here's a link to the JoAnne Kloppenburg Song just in case we were still pretending Supreme Court justices and races weren't politically partisan.

This was when the left in Wisconsin tried electing a Liberal Supreme Court Justice, so the courts would overturn the Legislative and Executive will of the people. Seems the way in which she would vote toward any Act 10 challenges was already known...just like the rest.

Gusty Winds said...

“the role of judges differs from the role of politicians,”

Now in the land of make-believe that might be true.

But here on earth, partisan judges help to populate courts through appointment or election, in order to protect or overturn legislation with which they predeterminately support or disagree.

They then vote in an expected predicable manner, then format their opinions, majority or dissenting, to fit their predisposition.

And every now and then they surprise us by punting, or voting in the opposite expected direction using "it's not the roll of the courts" shield.

Bob said...

Lincoln Caplan is a very sophisticated and very dangerous political propagandist. People need to watch him very carefully.

hombre said...

How interesting that among the apparent stimuli for this silly hit piece is that the "conservative" justices did what they had a perfect legal right to do, but that they did it "hastily."

It is telling that New Yorker does not accept comments on this kind of partisan drivel which is becoming more frequent on their pages.

Bobber Fleck said...

Sebastian said:

Doesn't it portend the destruction of America, nay the planet?

Otter said:

But you can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

Michael said...

Well, Lincoln Caplan is married to Susan L. Carney who happens to have been appointed to the bench by BH Obama. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

hombre said...

Mark: "Where areas (sic.) all the conservatives when cops are doing the same to other people?"

This is just great. The minions of the fascist left are now pimping the notion that conservatives support police misconduct. Which regime is allowing its non law enforcement agencies to purchase millions of rounds of hollow point ammunition? Which regime promoted the sale of weapons to drug cartels that have been used against innocents? Which regime kills unconvicted Americans and innocent civilians with drones? Etc.

It is probably unreasonable to expect a lefty to appreciate the additional implications of accompanying police overreaching with political corruption and attempts to chill First Amendment freedom.

There is no moral high ground for you and your ilk here, Marl.

traditionalguy said...

Those John Doe Rethuglicans are winning political power by winning elections...that must be a criminal act, right. All Koch donor money is EVIL, right?

The poor Democrats are losers now without their god given Union dues check-off money slush fund. If that isn't a crime, then it probably should be one.

The IWW will hear about this!

David said...

" all of the Wisconsin justices look a lot like politicians, in particular the conservatives, who came to the bench with the support of powerful and aggressive political groups."

Say anything else and they are off the list. They have to be on the list. There is nothing more sad than a listless liberal.

traditionalguy said...

Interestingly, Walker is attracting some long range artillery barrages. It's a long way from The new Yorker's Times Square to the plain rural state of Wisconsin with its population of 5.6 million while metro NYC alone has a population of 20+ million.

Walker has emerged as the threat to many Democrats and Progressive socialists.

Alex said...

Just the daily 2-minute hate from a leftist media group.

Alex said...

Surely Peter King(R-NY) can provide opposition to the New York liberals?

Right?????

Mark O said...

Does anyone remember the New Yorker before Tina Brown, during William Shawn's time as editor?

It was worth reading every article, although some seemed obtuse or irrelevant, because each was well-written and wonderfully informative.

It then became Vanity Fair and has really never recovered. About once in three weeks one can find a great article that does not contain a superfluous vituperation about conservatives or an encomium to Obama.

I have read it for more than 40 years, but I'm reconsidering my subscription.

Marty Keller said...

Ho. Hum.

Skeptical Voter said...

To your average progressive politically correct ("only sits on the left side of the aisle, toilet seat or whatever") a state court judge who votes the "correct" i.e. lefty way is a Solon, a jurist for the ages etc.

A judge who doesn't vote his way is a political hack. Nosy New Yorkers should keep their progressive proboscis out of anything that happens west of the east bank of the Hudson River.

MayBee said...

Yes, damikesc - Tom Steyer is spending money on something larger than himself!!!

Curious George said...

First this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy8FSyI_Djg&t=0m29s

Then the WI Supreme Court.

What's next?

The Cracker Emcee said...

"The IWW will hear about this!"

The white, middle-class, farmer's-market liberal actually thinks in these fuzzy romanticized terms. Labor (real Labor, not those paper-pushing public union types) are engaged in a noble, Steinbeckian, epic struggle with the plutocrats and their evil henchman (that's be you, Scott).

Zach said...

Wait, the John Doe investigation made conservative judges look bad?

Maybe the New Yorker got mixed up as to who was conducting multi year harassment campaigns with the aid of compliant judges.

After all, something that sounds that evil has to be the conservatives' fault somehow, doesn't it?

Fen said...

Funny article. I meant to ask on the other thread if the liberal justice's cling to her Chief Justice position undermined the credibility of the court.

Turns out I was right, just didn't know "the conservatives did it"

Why, its almost as if there is a JournoList 2.0 out there writing propaganda pieces to offset their own party's abuses of power and lack of credibility....

"See? The conservatives are just as bad. Yes, my argument is lame, but I've got you arguing against Both Sides Do It, which was all I was after"

Its the classic Tu Quoque fallacy:

a) liberal justice plays politics
b) Caplan alleges conservative justices are playing politics
c) both sides do it, ergo the liberal justice's actions are excused.

Smilin' Jack said...

"The Destruction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court," by Lincoln Caplan.
In The New Yorker. I thought you should know.


Oh noes! Does this mean I have to buy California cheese now?

gerry said...

Where areas all the conservatives when cops are doing the same to other people?

Careful, this link will take you to Red State. A Wisconsin prog might suffer a truth trigger there.

mikee said...

Whenever a conservative is accused of something, no matter how illogical the accusation or the lack of proof, it means the liberal is scared of everyone condemning the liberals for actually doing that very thing,no matter how well proven the accusation or absolute the proof.