Boots & Sabers

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Category: Law

LTE: Vote Dan Kelly and Russ Jones

From the inbox.

The April 4th election is our chance to put two excellent jurists on the judicial bench upholding our U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions, applying the law as written, and protecting our rights and freedoms.


Dan Kelly is a man of honor and integrity. He served with distinction on the Wisconsin Supreme Court 2016-2020. He made the difference in helping end the illegal lockdowns of us during the CCP Virus “pandemic” by ruling that the executive branch could not keep renewing its 60-day “emergency measures.” Remember those horrible months? Businesses closed (many never reopened), schools and churches were shut, people were forced to wear do-no-good masks, etc. Dan Kelly fought for us and our freedoms. He did not go along with Big Government’s tyrannical suppression of our precious rights and freedoms.


By contrast, his opponent vows judicial activism (i.e., inserting her own political values in place of actual law). Putting her thumb on the scale of justice is wrong, dangerous, and can be deadly.


Like Justice Kelly, Russ Jones is a constitutional conservative – he honors and follows the law as written. Unlike his compromised opponent, Russ did not sign the Walker recall and was not appointed by Evers. Attorney Jones is an award-winning litigator, with over 250 jury trials during 20 years of service. He has the highest standards of personal conduct and will apply the law fairly and impartially. His honesty and dedication to the rule of law will make him an outstanding circuit court judge.


Dan Kelly has earned my total support for election to our Wisconsin Supreme Court. Russ Jones is the best choice for Washington County Circuit Court Judge. Please join me in proudly voting for Dan Kelly and Russ Jones on April 4th. Ask all your adult family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to do so, too.


Sincerely signed,


Bart Williams

An activist court is a dangerous court

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

The election on April 4 presents an unambiguous choice for voters about the future of Wisconsin. Daniel Kelly would keep the Wisconsin Supreme Court on its constitutionally humble and conservative path. Janet Protasiewicz has already trumpeted the kind of activism she would wage to turn the high court into a political weapon for leftist causes. As we have seen in other states, leftists do not have any qualms about muscling political victories through the courts when their ideas fail to win public support at the ballot box.


In recent weeks we have learned that Protasiewicz is not just the ardent activist who protested against Act 10 and giddily shares how she will tip the scales of justice when her “values” demand it. Not only have we learned that her long judicial record is one of callous disregard for victims of violent crime as she coddled felons. We also learned from Wisconsin Right Now’s reporting that she allegedly abused her first husband, who was over thirty years older than she, and that two witnesses have come forward who heard her regularly use racial slurs when she was a Milwaukee prosecutor.


The optimist in me hopes that some of Wisconsin’s leftists would feel the twang of guilt about voting for someone with such deep character flaws, but the realist in me understands that they are more interested in outcomes even if the vessel that delivers them is cracked. They will vote for Protasiewicz in droves. The rest of this column, therefore, is directed at conservatives who need to understand the gravity of the election and get off their duffs to vote.


The thing about judicial activists is that nothing is safe. Policies that were correctly adjudicated long ago by the court and considered settled will be resurfaced by activists to get a different outcome. Protasiewicz has already said that she considers Act 10 to be unconstitutional and Wisconsin’s electoral maps rigged, so expect those to be overturned by a Protasiewicz-led court. That will just be the start of an avalanche of legal activism to roll back important policies.




One thing that the pandemic reminded us is that in times of trouble, our government schools will choose institutional interests over the welfare of children every time. Given the decades of declining performance, increasing violence, and curricular malfeasance, this bureaucratic colonialism should have been obvious, but their collective response to the pandemic has crystalized their priorities.


Wisconsin’s school choice programs have been offering children an alternative path to getting a quality education and a successful future. When Gov. Tommy Thompson pioneered school choice in Milwaukee, the leftist institutional interests fought back in court. After a heated legal battle, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court ruled that it was constitutionally permissible for religious schools to participate in the Milwaukee School Choice program. The U.S. Supreme Court later declined to hear a challenge to the law, thus ending the legal challenge. The vote on the Wisconsin Supreme Court was decided by a single vote. Had one justice ruled the other way, generations of Wisconsin’s children would still be trapped in failing schools and doomed to navigating life without a quality education.


Since that Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling in 1998, the Legislature has steadily expanded Wisconsin’s school choice programs to benefit hundreds of thousands of children throughout the state. Should Protasiewicz be elected, expect those monied interests who want to build barbed-wire fences to keep our children in their failed institutions to relaunch their legal challenges to school choice knowing that a Protasiewicz-led court will rule in their favor. Janet Protasiewicz is telling anyone who will listen how she will vote on issues brought before the court and how she considers it her duty to put her finger on the scales of justice when the law says otherwise. Listen to her. In this, she is telling the truth.

Federal Judge Strikes Down California’s Unconstitutional Gun laws

Good. But realize that this unconstitutional law was on the books for over two decades. This is why judges matter.

(Reuters) -A federal judge on Monday blocked California from enforcing a state law requiring new semiautomatic handguns to have certain safety features, finding it violates the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.


The ruling by U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney in Santa Anna, California is the latest in a line of decisions striking down state gun laws following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year expanding gun rights. The judge said it would not take effect for 14 days to give the state a chance to appeal.


The California Rifle & Pistol Association and four individuals sued the state last year to challenge the law. The association hailed the ruling while the office of California Attorney General Rob Bonta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


The 2001 law, known as the Unsafe Handgun Act, requires new semiautomatic handguns to have an indicator showing when there is a round in the chamber and a mechanism to prevent firing when the magazine is not fully inserted, both meant to prevent accidental discharge. It also requires that they stamp a serial number onto bullets they fire, known as microstamping.

Protasiewicz Remains Silent on Multiple Allegations of Using Racial Slurs

From Wisconsin Right Now. It seems that Wisconsin’s Democrats are returning to their roots when their party championed the use of the “N” word. Spare me your lectures on bigotry… your silence says everything.

Two people who knew Janet Protasiewicz – her former stepson AND a long-time self-described liberal family friend of her ex-husband – told Wisconsin Right Now in recorded interviews that they heard Protasiewicz use racial slurs when she was a prosecutor in Children’s Court. Both men, Jonathan Ehr and Michael Madden, told Wisconsin Right Now that they personally heard Protasiewicz use the “N word” to refer to blacks.


Madden, Protasiewicz’s then stepson, said in a videotaped interview that she used the “N word” to refer to blacks who were involved in court cases while she served as a prosecutor in Milwaukee County Children’s Court, including the parents of black children and blacks accused of crimes.


We asked Protasiewicz’s campaign for comment at 10 p.m. on March 15. She has not responded. She has not denied using racial slurs despite being given an opportunity to do so.

Protasiewicz’s record speaks

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a slice:

A funny thing happens when liberals run for court positions. Irrespective of their past statements, actions, or documented history, every liberal suddenly transforms into a virtuous law and order hardliner. One is always best served by looking at a person’s actions instead of their words. Protasiewicz has been a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge for almost a decade. Her record is extensive, and terrible.




In May of 2020, a 15-year-old girl was walking in Milwaukee when a man in a pickup truck pulled up beside her, grabbed her by the wrist, and forced her into the truck. He took her to a hotel, raped her, and tried to force her to become a prostitute. Thankfully, she escaped and notified police.


Originally charged with three felonies for kidnapping, trafficking of a child, and second-degree sexual assault of a child, Protasiewicz signed off on another plea deal that reduced the charges to third-degree sexual assault and child enticement. He was convicted and Protasiewicz then gave him time served for jail time and stayed all of the prison time. He was put on probation for four years. In other words, despite his long criminal history and kidnapping and rape of a child, he did not serve any prison time thanks to Judge Protasiewicz.


This monster has since been convicted of a felony for being a felon in possession of a firearm in Washington County. He is still free on the street thanks to a Washington County judge cut from the same cloth as Protasiewicz. For a multiple felon child rapist, Washington County Judge Sandra Giernoth, an appointee of Governor Tony Evers, sentenced him to six months in jail and then gave him time served. The guy is happily living in Milwaukee — free as a bird.




When people talk about soft-on-crime liberal judges, Janet Protasiewicz is a prime example. She has been letting violent felons roam free for years because that is who she is. And that is who she will be if Wisconsinites elect her to the Supreme Court.

“nearly all”

What an utter abuse of power and miscarriage of justice. “Nearly all” is not “all.” The standard and obligation of the prosecution is “all.”

On Tuesday, prosecutors said that “nearly all” of the Capitol security footage Carlson played was previously available to attorneys representing riot defendants.

Roger Roots, an attorney for New York Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola, wrote that the video Carlson played of the “QAnon Shaman,” Jacob Chansley, proves protesters went into the Senate Chamber on the invitation of US Capitol Police. Roots alleged that prosecutors “withheld” the footage from his client.

“This footage is plainly exculpatory; as it establishes that the Senate chamber was never violently breached, and – in fact – was treated respectfully by January 6 protestors,” Roots wrote. “To the extent protestors entered the chamber, they did so under the supervision of Capitol Police. The Senators on January 6 could have continued proceedings.”

The Conservative Protasiewicz?

Well, this is curious. It feels like a false flag operation.

Michael Madden and Dr. Mark Madden, her former stepsons, of Fox Point and Virginia respectively, don’t buy the reincarnation. They believe it’s a ruse to get liberal voters to put Protasiewicz on the state Supreme Court.


She told us that she was a conservative, and that she was pro-life, and that she was a Catholic,” Michael Madden, the son of Protasiewicz’s ex-husband, the now-deceased conservative Judge Patrick J. Madden, told Wisconsin Right Now in a two-hour interview. He lived with his father and Protasiewicz during their 9-month marriage in Fox Point. It dissolved in ugly recriminations in 1997.


“We would sit around these tables and she would mention these things,” Michael Madden said.


Michael Madden spoke at the Fox Point home where they all once lived before the brief and quickly disintegrating marriage ended in an extremely contentious divorce and annulment battle that we will reveal in part two.


Asked about her current views on abortion and other issues, Michael Madden warned voters, “She’s a chameleon who will do and say whatever is necessary to get what she wants. What she is being promised right now is this job on the Supreme Court if she will do the bidding of the machine.” In his view, because Janet Protasiewicz then is so different ideologically from Janet Protasiewicz of today, Madden believes it’s completely unclear how she would actually rule on the court.

Cheesy Ruling

First the Dairy industry takes a hit when the government rules that nut juice can be called “milk,” but then a court gives them this. As a consumer, I’m confused

The name “gruyere” can now be used to label cheeses from outside of the Gruyère region of Switzerland and France, a US appeals court has ruled.

The Virginia court upheld a ruling stating that the US does not have the same strict rules as Europe on the designation of origin for foods.


It agreed that “gruyere” can legally be used to describe cheese regardless of where it was made.

The decision is seen as a victory for US dairy groups.

Rule of Law on ballot this April

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

The Rule of Law is the critical foundation of a free society and underpins Western civilization. The Rule of Law is the principle that all people, from prices to paupers, are subject to the same laws. As John Locke put it in his Second Treatise on Government, “freedom of men under government is, to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society, and made by the legislative power erected in it; a liberty to follow my own will in all things, where the rule prescribes not; and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary will of another man.”


It is the Rule of Law that protects people from arbitrary tyrannical rule. In a society where the Rule of Law is in force, the role of a judge is simply to enforce the law as it is written. If the judge thinks that the law is wrong, a judicial conservative is bound by duty to apply the law anyway because it is the role of the legislature to change the law – not the judge.


Janet Protasiewicz has a very different approach to the law. Protasiewicz is proudly embracing the “progressive” (read: socialist) label and is sharing her opinion on all sorts of issues that may come before the court. She has said that the state’s electoral maps are “rigged,” that a woman’s right to abort her baby is a decision that should “be made solely by her,” that Act 10 is “unconstitutional,” and she has a long record as a Milwaukee County Judge of coddling hardened violent criminals – including child sex offenders. Protasiewicz’s approach to the law is to use her position as a means to reach outcomes that align with her personal values and convictions irrespective of what the law actually says. It is the kind of judicial activism that obliterates the Rule of Law.


As if to try to assuage concerns about her vocal activism, Protasiewicz said on “Capital City Sunday,” “What I will tell you is that [for] the bulk of issues there’s no thumb on the scale, but I will also tell you that I’ll call them as I see them. and I’ll tell you what my values are in regards to [the abortion] issue, because this issue is so critically important.” In other words, Protasiewicz is telling us that when she considers the case before her to be critically important, as measured against her values, she is more than willing to put her thumb on the scales of justice.


This is the definition of judicial activism. This is not only grossly unethical, but also antithetical to the Rule of Law.

Rescued Boater Wanted for Dropping Fish at Goonies House

What a strange world. If you haven’t seen the video of the boat being rolled, it’s stunning.

A man saved by a US coast guard rescue swimmer at the mouth of the Columbia river as a massive wave rolled the yacht he was piloting on Friday was wanted for a bizarre incident in which police said he left a dead fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the classic 1985 film, The Goonies.


Officers had been looking for the man since Wednesday, when an acquaintance alerted them to a video he posted on social media of himself leaving the fish at the house and then dancing around the property, said the Astoria police chief, Stacy Kelly.


Kelly identified the man as Jericho Labonte, 35, of Victoria, British Columbia. Labonte is also wanted in British Columbia on criminal harassment, mischief and failure to comply cases, Kelly said.


Early on Friday afternoon, the coast guard shared stunning video of a rescue made a few hours earlier in which a newly minted rescue swimmer lowered by cable from a helicopter swam to a 35ft yacht struggling in heavy surf.


As the swimmer approached the vessel, a large wave slammed into it, rolling the boat and throwing a man, later identified as Labonte, into the water.

Tennessee Considers Rape Exemption to Abortion Ban


Republican lawmakers in Tennessee introduced a bill this week that would add a rape exception to the state’s near-total abortion ban—with the caveat that those who “lie” about being raped to access abortion care could be sentenced to up to three years in prison. The bill, which Jessica Valenti first surfaced in her abortion news newsletter on Tuesday, would also require rape victims who do receive abortion care (which they can only get after an invasive forensic exam) to preserve and submit “a sample of the embryonic or fetal tissue extracted during the abortion” to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for “investigation into the offense.”

From a purely academic/public policy standpoint, this is how regulating abortion is supposed to work. It is not a federal issue, so individual states are experimenting with how they want to regulate abortion according to their local norms and values. It is interesting to see all of the variations.

From a policy standpoint, why wouldn’t lying about being raped carry a criminal charge? Lying to police and falsely alleging rape already carries criminal charges in most states – as it should. It eats up a tremendous amount of taxpayer resources to investigate the alleged rape and often casts the eye of suspicion on innocent men.

Dorows Eye Gun Range

This makes me like her more. Entreprenurial and firmly rooted in our American rights and heritage.

According to local news reports, Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow, a conservative candidate, and her husband Brian, are developing an indoor gun range that would not only host weddings and other events, but would also serve alcohol. The couple requested a Class B liquor license to sell beer and wine to members and guests in the “clubhouse.” The range would also sell firearms and accessories on-site. The Dorows said in city documents that they devised an “alcohol safety policy” consisting of hand stamps to prevent members from entering the shooting range after drinking and a breathalyzer to be used on “suspicious individuals.”

Biden Stonewalls Congress

It’s almost like Biden is the head of a criminal family organization.

Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee emerged outraged from a two-hour secure briefing with Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines, threatening to grind the chamber’s business to a halt if the Biden administration does not provide access to the classified documents seized from the current president and former President Donald Trump.


Senators in both parties have claimed the administration is refusing to let them see the materials, even blocking lawmakers with the highest security clearance, like Senate Intelligence Committee members, while the special counsel probes are ongoing over how Biden and Trump handled the classified records while out of office.


“I’m very disappointed with the lack of detail and a timeline on when we’re going to get a briefing, not on anything dealing with criminality — that’s an appropriate Department of Justice responsibility — but it is our responsibility to make sure that we, in our role as intelligence oversight, know if there’s been any intelligence compromise,” Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va, said in a rare rebuke of the administration.

SCOTUS Fails to Find Leaker

It appears that the flow of information was pretty loose – probably because they all trusted each other to not violate the secrecy of the court. Now that that trust is shattered, I hope they have implemented more stringent safeguards.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday announced that after a lengthy investigation it has been unable to conclusively identify the person who leaked an unpublished draft of an opinion indicating the court was poised to roll back abortion rights.


In an unsigned statement, the court said that all leads had been followed up and forensic analysis performed, but “the team has to date been unable to identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.”


The attached report suggested the court was not watertight, with some employees admitting they had talked to spouses about the draft opinion and how the justices had voted. The investigation conducted by Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley was largely limited to the court building itself and the people who work there, meaning that any actions taken by people at home or elsewhere using personal devices were mostly not within its scope.


The report also indicated that the justices were not scrutinized as part of the probe, with the focus on permanent employees and the law clerks who work for each justice for a year.

Meta Settles

Remember this? Given the Twitter files, it almost seems quaint now.

Facebook owner Meta has agreed to pay $725m (£600m) to settle legal action over a data breach linked to political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The long-running dispute accused the social media giant of allowing third parties, including the British firm, to access Facebook users’ personal data.


The proposed sum is the largest in a US data privacy class action, lawyers say.

Meta, which did not admit wrongdoing, said it had “revamped” its approach to privacy over the past three years.

SCOTUS Orders Title 42 to Stay… for now

This really shouldn’t take court action, but Biden and his fellow Democrats REALLY want an open border.

WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. issued an order on Monday temporarily maintaining a Trump-era public health emergency measure that allows the government to expel migrants seeking asylum who cross the southern border unlawfully.


The order was prompted by an emergency application filed on Monday by 19 states led by Republicans. Lawyers for the states asked the justices to issue an emergency stay of a federal judge’s order blocking the program, saying it was needed to prevent a surge of border crossings.

“The failure to grant a stay will cause a crisis of unprecedented proportions at the border,” they wrote, adding that “daily illegal crossings may more than double.”

Judge Dismisses Case Against Saudi Prince at Biden Administration’s Insistence

Hey lefties… is being mad at the Saudis about the Khashoggi murder a thing anymore?

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, bowing to the Biden administration’s insistence that the prince was legally immune in the case.


District of Columbia U.S. District Judge John D. Bates heeded the U.S. government’s motion to shield Prince Mohammed from the lawsuit despite what Bates called “credible allegations of his involvement in Khashoggi’s murder.”


A team of Saudi officials killed Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, had written critically of the harsh ways of Prince Mohammed, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler.

Minds Made Up?


From the beginning of oral arguments on Monday, it appeared the Supreme Court’s conservatives had come to the bench with their minds set.

I know that CNN long ago gave up pretending to be unbiased, but is there anyone on the planet who thinks that the liberals didn’t come into the arguments with their minds made up? Perhaps the only justice who is actually undecided is Roberts.

SCOTUS to Rule on Unconstitutional Student Loan Handouts

Good, but

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday said it will review the legality of President Joe Biden’s federal student loan debt relief plan, putting borrowers on track to get clarity on the fate of the program by next summer.


The program, which would grant up to either $10,000 or $20,000 in federal debt relief to student borrowers who make under a certain income, depending on the kind of loan they used, has been blocked by lower courts since November. The administration initially planned to start rolling out cancellations by the end of this month.


The Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments in February, allowing the case an expedited schedule, and is expected to make a decision by the end of June, when the term ends. February’s arguments are also likely to give insight into how the justices view the program.

It is nuts, in this day and age, that citizens should have to wait seven months – SEVEN MONTHS – for SCOTUS to act. There should be an expedited process for the court to adjudicate issues of this importance. Really… all interested parties should be able to be reasonably ready to argue their cases by January and the court should have plenty of time to render a ruling within a couple of weeks. It’s ridiculous that the court moves at glacial speed in a modern country. Too often, irreparable damage has been done while everyone sits around and waits on the court.

Second SCOTUS Leak?

Nobody seems to be looking very hard for the first leak.

Following the monumental leak of the draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade in May, a former anti-abortion leader claims he was told the outcome of a 2014 case weeks before it was announced publicly, according to a report published on Saturday in The New York Times.


Rev. Rob Schenck, who led an evangelical nonprofit in Washington, said he was informed ahead of time about the ruling of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, a landmark case involving contraception and religious rights, according to a letter he wrote to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Roberts did not respond to the letter.


Schenck used his knowledge of the verdict to prepare public relations materials, the report said, and to inform the president of the Christain evangelical-owned craft store Hobby Lobby, the winning party of the case. Schenck said the ruling was also shared with a handful of advocates, according to the report.

I do think that there is a distinction between the two leaks. Leaking the full draft opinion was an egregious breach. Giving a heads up at a dinner party was not appropriate, but a far cry from the first leak. I expect that the latter has been happening for eons while the former was unheard of in modern times. Also, the latter was allegedly done with the intent to be a private heads up while the former was a public attempt to intimidate justices.

But both leaks are wrong, and they need to stop. Also, the court needs to operate more swiftly so that there isn’t the gigantic lag between when decisions are made and when they are released.



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