Wisconsin Supreme Court to rule on ‘John Doe’ cases on Thursday

Cartoon_22Scott Walker, “the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to run their Midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin,” announced that he is running for president on Monday. It looks like he may have to make a short week of it.

I have been reminding you that we are still waiting on the Wisconsin Supreme Court to rule in three cases that will determine whether the “John Doe” investigations into illegal campaign coordination, and separate but related criminal investigations initiated by Milwaukee County prosecutors, can be revived or must be ended for good. John Doe Investigations – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is now set to announce its rulings on Thursday. Wisconsin court to rule on John Doe probe’s validity:

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to rule Thursday on whether a secret probe can continue into whether Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign illegally coordinated with conservative groups.

Unnamed petitioners have filed two lawsuits seeking to halt the John Doe proceeding, Wisconsin’s version of a grand jury investigation where information is tightly controlled. Prosecutors have filed their own action seeking to reinstate quashed subpoenas in the probe. The high court is expected to rule in all three lawsuits.

The case centers on political activity by Wisconsin Club for Growth and other conservative groups during the recall campaign and whether they violated state laws that bar coordination with candidates, require disclosure of political donations and limit how much money can be collected. No one has been charged so far.

I am not optimistic. Four of the justices now sitting on the court were aided by campaign expenditures from some of the same conservative groups before the court. Conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices Must Recuse Themselves from John Doe (they didn’t):

One of the John Does prosecutors, Francis Schmitz, who voted for Scott Walker, has asked at least one of these justices to recuse themselves—to not hear the case because of their conflict of interest.

In a U.S. Supreme court ruling in 2009 in Caperton v. Massey, the highest court in the land said that judges must recuse themselves from cases involving a party that had a “significant and disproportionate influence” on the judge getting elected.

Unfortunately, the Wisconsin Supreme Court did not follow a similar line of thinking in July 2010 when it revised the Code of Judicial Conduct to allow judges to decide whether they could hear cases involving big campaign contributors and powerful special interest supporters.

Wisconsin’s weak judicial recusal rule, which lets judges stay on cases involving big campaign contributors or special interests groups that spent millions to help them get elected, got some unwelcome national attention on Tuesday.

Using data supplied by the Democracy Campaign, a New York Times editorial slammed the “pitifully weak rule” in Wisconsin’s judicial ethics code for not requiring judges to recuse themselves in cases involving a party that has spent money to help them get elected.

Something is rotten in the state of Wisconsin, to paraphrase the Bard from Hamlet.

One response to “Wisconsin Supreme Court to rule on ‘John Doe’ cases on Thursday

  1. Just what we need…another nonviable candidate throwing his unwelcome hat in the ring. I realize we Republicans don’t have a standout candidate like Hillary, but why do we have to have so many undeserved big egos jumping out there in a vain effort to be elected? I guess we get what we deserve…