Legislative leaders in the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly have announced they plan to hold a vote later this fall on legislation that would make changes to how John Doe proceedings in the state are conducted.
The bill from Rep. Dave Craig (R-Big Bend) and Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) would end the use of the secret John Doe process to investigate political crimes. The measure comes largely in response to a pair of investigations surrounding Governor Scott Walker – one targeting his office when he was Milwaukee County executive and another that was looking in to potentially illegal coordination between his campaign and conservative groups during the 2012 recall election.
This is very good. Given the abuses of the John Doe process and its untenable premise that there needs to be a separate system of investigatory and proprietorial procedure that strips out due process protections for suspects, the entire John Doe law should be scrapped. I’m curious to see that the legislators mean by “political crimes.” We should just get rid of the whole thing and not try to reform it in a way that only protects politicians. That’s asking for bad publicity for a reform that needs to happen.