Stunningly, it took them only about 48 hours to be credibly accused of violating the state Constitution, state law, and Supreme Court rules – TWICE. First, they fired Randy Koschnick, the respected State Courts Director, and wouldn’t tell him or anyone else why. Everyone’s best guess is it’s because he ran against liberal Shirley Abrahamson in 2009. This even earned them criticism from some liberals, like the former MADISON MAYOR (not an easy feat), who accused them of a partisan witch hunt, since Koschnick was a low-profile, effective innovator who didn’t inject politics into the job (and he just got an award!).
They appear to have hatched his unexplained and totally out-of-protocol firing before Janet Protasiewicz was even sworn in, didn’t tell the conservatives on the court about it (are we a middle school clique? Paging Lindsay Lohan…), and cut out the chief justice, even though the state Constitution gave HER authority to call administrative conferences. This led the state Senate’s Judiciary Committee Chair, Van Wanggaard, to accuse them of violating the law, their oaths, and the Constitution, all in one day!
They are so petty that they didn’t even wait until Thursday for Koschnick to return from out-of-state, ordering a staffer to box up his family photos. He responded by calling them (correctly) a “wrecking ball” in the press.
Remember a couple of things… first, this was predictable, predicted, and utterly preventable. Wisconsin’s voters chose this. Second, there is very little recourse. The Court is a coequal branch of government and can, with limited exception, manage their internal affairs as they see fit. There’s not a helluva lot anyone can do about it – much less when another coequal branch of government, the Executive Branch lorded over by Governor Evers, is cheering them on.
This court will leave a swath of damage through Wisconsin that will last for decades. Indeed, elections have consequences.