Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News earlier this week.
What do we do when high government officials act without regard to the Constitution or law? What do we do when government officials engage in a bloodless insurrection and usurp power that is not theirs? It is happening in the Wisconsin Supreme Court as the new liberal majority has moved swiftly to orchestrate a coup while running roughshod over the state Constitution, the law, and long-established court rules.
Even before Janet Protasiewicz was seated, the incoming liberal majority had notified the long-standing and award-winning State Courts Director, Randy Koshnick, that he was fired. The firing violated several internal court rules and simple decency toward a longstanding state employee.
Continuing their galumph over court rules and state law, the liberal gang appointed Milwaukee Judge Audrey Skwierawski to replace Koshnick. Not only was it not a competitive hiring process in which persons of color and others candidates were considered, but it violates state law. Wisconsin statute 757.02(2) states, “The judge of any court of record in this state shall be ineligible to hold any office of public trust, except a judicial office, during the term for which he or she was elected or appointed.”
Skwierawski claims to be on leave, but the statute is clear that she cannot legally serve as the State Courts Director during the term for which she was elected. The only way she could legally hold the position is if she resigned as a judge, but she has declined to do so.
We have quickly learned why the leftist majority rammed Skwierawski into the position. Last week, Chief Justice Annette Ziegler discovered that Skwierawski had been signing reserve judge orders with Justice Ziegler’s name without Ziegler’s knowledge or permission. It is unclear what else Skwierawski may have signed while impersonating the Chief Justice. This alleged identity theft by Skwierawski is a direct usurpation of Ziegler’s power and a violation of her person.
The leftist majority also violated court rules to pass new administrative rules to usurp the Chief Justice’s power. Under court rule III(A), any change to the court schedule agreed upon in the spring requires unanimous approval of all seven elected justices. These rules have been in effect since 1984 and adhered to in times of liberal and conservative majorities. Contrary to that rule, the four leftist justices met alone on August fourth to change the administrative structure of the court.
Not only was their meeting unauthorized and invalid, but the rule they “passed” violates the state Constitution. One of the changes was to create a three-justice committee to administer the court. The committee consists of the Chief Justice and two justices elected by the leftist majority. Of course, those two elected committee members are elected by the leftist majority and would effectively usurp all of the power of the Chief Justice.
The Wisconsin State Constitution Article VII Section 4(3) states, “The chief justice of the supreme court shall be the administrative head of the judicial system and shall exercise this administrative authority pursuant to procedures adopted by the supreme court.” The Chief Justice’s exclusive authority to administer the Supreme Court is granted by, and protected by, the Constitution. The leftist majority’s administrative committee is a direct violation of the Constitution.
It has only been a month and the leftists on the Wisconsin Supreme Court has been acting with Marxist disregard for the rule of law in pursuit of overwhelming power that would make Comrade Stalin wince at their brazenness.
When a majority of the justices on the state’s high court are so clearly and openly violating the court’s own rules, state law, and the Constitution, they have forfeited their authority and surrendered their power to judge the affairs of the people of Wisconsin. If they do not follow the law and the Constitution, they have no authority to judge whether we do.