Boots & Sabers

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Tag: Wisconsin Supreme Court

Court Karens Purge Name of Conservative Predecessor

It should worry us all that people who are this bitter and petty are making judgments about anything to do with us. These are the people you see berating the poor barista for putting too little oat milk in their latte.

The liberal partisans on the Wisconsin Supreme Court are erasing former conservative Justice David Prosser’s name from the state Law Library, a move that conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley labeled a “petty and vindictive maneuver.”

 

They are replacing his name with the name of Lavinia Goodell, “Wisconsin’s first female lawyer,” according to a press release from the Court.

 

[…]

 

In 2016, then Supreme Court Chief Justice Pat Roggensack, a conservative, announced that the law library would be named after Prosser “in light of Prosser’s upcoming retirement and many years of service.”

 

Prosser served on the court for 18 years. He was first appointed to the court by Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson in 1998 and was re-elected twice, according to his court bio.

 

A Supreme Court press release at the time the law library was named for Prosser says, “In all, Prosser spent more than 40 years in public service, including experience in all three branches of state government. He retired July 31, after 18 years on the Supreme Court. Earlier in his career, he served as a tax appeals commissioner, legislative leader, and a prosecutor.”

Wisconsin Supreme Court Takes Case of Evers’ 400-year Tax Increase

This will be interesting.

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ partial veto that locked in a school funding increase for the next 400 years, the justices announced Monday.

 

The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Litigation Center filed a lawsuit in April arguing the governor exceeded his authority. The group asked the high court to strike down the veto without waiting for the case to go through lower courts.

 

The court issued an order Monday afternoon saying it would take the case. The justices didn’t elaborate beyond setting a briefing schedule.

 

At issue is a partial veto Evers made in the state budget in July 2023 that increased revenue public schools can raise per student by $325 annually until 2425. Evers took language that originally applied the $325 increase for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years and vetoed the “20” and the hyphen to make the end date 2425, more than four centuries from now.

By the law, it seems clearly unconstitutional. While the Wisconsin Constitution stupidly gives the Governor the power to veto individual letters, it is clear that the power to write laws and raise taxes lies exclusively within the power of the legislature.

Politically, the leftists control the court. One might instinctively think that they will rule in favor of Evers to support “their guy.” However, handing that kind of power to the governor in perpetuity is fraught with risk for the Liberals. Wisconsin is an evenly divided state and there is no certainty that the Democrats will control the governorship last Evers’ current term. If the court enhances the power of the governor’s veto, what will a Republican governor do with it?

Remember that the court just unconstitutionally redrew the legislative districts in the hopes of taking back one or both houses of the legislature. Will the shoot themselves in the foot by disempowering the legislature just when they are poised to take it back?

If I were a betting man, I’d bet that the court’s liberals will make the correct ruling that the governor exceeded his authority. It’s smarter politics to play the long game for legislative power. It also allows them to portray the court as balanced just before a pivotal court election next spring.

Wisconsin Supreme Court to Decide Fewest Cases in 40 Years

Is this a problem? I rather like a minimalist court. Although it does seem that this particular court is usurping power and running roughshod over the Constitution where they choose.

It would be the first time the court has issued fewer than 40 decisions in a term in at least four decades.

 

According to Ball’s analysis, the court filed more than 130 decisions in its 1980-81 term and has generally fluctuated between 40 and 100 per term in subsequent years. Before the late 1970s and the creation of the court of appeals, the state Supreme Court often filed more than 200 decisions per term and sometimes more than 300.

 

[…]

The number of petitions for review has dropped significantly. The court received 658 petitions in its 2020-21 term, 624 in 2021-22 and 573 in 2022-23. According to a March 2024 report from the court, 332 petitions have been filed in the current term.

“In addition to a smaller number of petitions for review, the justices have clearly decided that fewer of the petitions merit acceptance. Why that might be is harder to say,” Ball said.

It is interesting that there are so few petitions. Does this indicate a lack of confidence in the court? Maybe. Maybe it’s just coincidence.

Leftist Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Won’t Seek Reelection

This was unexpected, but welcome. We will have an open seat with no power of incumbency in play.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley announced Thursday she would step down at the end of her term next spring, putting liberals’ majority on the pivotal swing state’s highest bench at stake.

 

The April 2025 election to replace Bradley promises to be an expensive and bitter race and will likely feature many of the same momentous issues — like abortion rights and redistricting — that defined a 2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court race that ultimately gave liberals their first majority on the bench in 15 years.

 

In a statement, Bradley, 73, said she would not run for a fourth 10-year term on the court, saying it was a good time to bring “fresh perspectives to the court.”

“My decision has not come lightly. It is made after careful consideration and reflection. I know I can do the job and do it well. I know I can win re-election should I run, but it’s just time to pass the torch,” wrote Bradley, who was elected to the technically nonpartisan court in 1995.

Leftist court justices getting what they paid for

Here is my column that ran in the Washington County Daily News earlier this week.

There is an open secret in corporate America regarding consultants. While business leaders will sometimes hire consultants to actually study an issue and offer unbiased advice, perhaps more often than not, consultants are hired to tell the business leaders what they want to hear. This is exactly what is happening within the redistricting case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

 

Here is how the game is played: An executive knows they need to do something or wants to do something but either does not have support or does not want to take responsibility for the decision. The executive hires a consultant to “study” the issue and provide guidance with a wink and a nod. When the consultant miraculously comes back recommending that they do what the executive wanted, the executive can sell the decision to their bosses, employees, and customers as something “recommended by unbiased experts after rigorous study.” Consultants get paid. Executive gets what he or she wants.

 

When the leftists on the Wisconsin Supreme Court chose to violate the law and Constitution to throw out the legally implemented state legislative maps last year, they decided that they needed a fig leaf of legitimacy to force whatever new maps they draw. To that end, they went out and hired two consultants, Jonathan Cervas and Bernard Grofman. Both men are academics who have carved out a niche for themselves consulting on redistricting for clients all over the country. Both of these consultants will be paid $450 per hour up to $100,000 each for their work. It is a good side hustle if you can get it. The hiring process for these consultants was utterly opaque. There was no nationwide search for the best, most unbiased consultants. The leftists did not solicit input from any of the litigants in the case. There was no bidding process or price negotiation made public. We, the public, have absolutely no idea why these two consultants were selected or why we are paying them $450 per hour. The only thing we know is that the leftist court majority chose them.

 

The leftist court majority is getting exactly what they are paying for. In response to the court usurping the power of the Legislature and throwing out the state legislative maps, the court accepted six alternate proposals from interested parties. The six sets of maps were submitted by Legislative Republicans, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, Governor Tony Evers, Democrat plaintiffs, Senate Democrats, and a group of academic mathematicians.

 

Last week, accompanied by a statement heavy with meaningless academic jargon, the consultants rejected the two maps submitted by Republicans and WILL — the only two maps submitted by someone who is not a fellow traveler of the leftist court majority. The consultants did not declare which map was most correct but left open the option to draw their own if asked to do so by the court.

 

Let me save everyone the drama of what is to come. We already know. The leftist court majority has made it clear that they will redraw the maps to favor the Democrats as much as possible. They have a fundamental belief that legislative representation should mirror the statewide popular vote – ignoring small-“r” republicanism that balances geographic and popular interests. Given that the leftists have the majority, they will impose maps that are heavily gerrymandered to favor Democrats.

 

The leftist justices want to maintain the fiction of impartiality and judicial objectivity. Yes, “fiction” is the correct word. To that end, one of two outcomes will happen. The court will choose the maps submitted by the mathematicians. This lets the leftists pretend that there is objective science behind the maps without accepting maps submitted by obviously biased Democrats.

 

The more likely outcome is that the leftist justices will toss out all of the submitted maps and charge the consultants to draw new maps. This gives them ultimate control over the outcome and covers their overt partisanship with a veneer of academic impartiality and objectivity. The mainstream media will announce their approval for the allegedly fair, in reality completely unfair, maps like the clapping barking seals they are.

 

The two consultants hired by the leftist court majority were hired to deliver maps that favor Democrats. That is exactly what is going to happen. In the end, given the billions of taxpayer dollars that are going to flow to leftist operatives and priorities as a result of this decision, $200,000 seems like a reasonable investment for them to make to maintain the fiction of a rule of law in Wisconsin.

Leftist court justices getting what they paid for

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

There is an open secret in corporate America regarding consultants. While business leaders will sometimes hire consultants to actually study an issue and offer unbiased advice, perhaps more often than not, consultants are hired to tell the business leaders what they want to hear. This is exactly what is happening within the redistricting case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

 

Here is how the game is played: An executive knows they need to do something or wants to do something but either does not have support or does not want to take responsibility for the decision. The executive hires a consultant to “study” the issue and provide guidance with a wink and a nod. When the consultant miraculously comes back recommending that they do what the executive wanted, the executive can sell the decision to their bosses, employees, and customers as something “recommended by unbiased experts after rigorous study.” Consultants get paid. Executive gets what he or she wants.

 

When the leftists on the Wisconsin Supreme Court chose to violate the law and Constitution to throw out the legally implemented state legislative maps last year, they decided that they needed a fig leaf of legitimacy to force whatever new maps they draw. To that end, they went out and hired two consultants, Jonathan Cervas and Bernard Grofman. Both men are academics who have carved out a niche for themselves consulting on redistricting for clients all over the country. Both of these consultants will be paid $450 per hour up to $100,000 each for their work. It is a good side hustle if you can get it. The hiring process for these consultants was utterly opaque. There was no nationwide search for the best, most unbiased consultants. The leftists did not solicit input from any of the litigants in the case. There was no bidding process or price negotiation made public. We, the public, have absolutely no idea why these two consultants were selected or why we are paying them $450 per hour. The only thing we know is that the leftist court majority chose them.

 

[…]

 

The more likely outcome is that the leftist justices will toss out all of the submitted maps and charge the consultants to draw new maps. This gives them ultimate control over the outcome and covers their overt partisanship with a veneer of academic impartiality and objectivity. The mainstream media will announce their approval for the allegedly fair, in reality completely unfair, maps like the clapping barking seals they are.

 

The two consultants hired by the leftist court majority were hired to deliver maps that favor Democrats. That is exactly what is going to happen. In the end, given the billions of taxpayer dollars that are going to flow to leftist operatives and priorities as a result of this decision, $200,000 seems like a reasonable investment for them to make to maintain the fiction of a rule of law in Wisconsin.

Usurpers on the high court

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News earlier this week.

The leftist-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court is continuing its rampage to strip Wisconsinites of self-governance and reshape the state to their will. Where leftists could not win support for their ideology at the ballot box, they will use the power of the court to advance it.

 

Unless you are a political nerd, it is difficult to convey how bad the court is acting in regard to Wisconsin’s legislative maps. Article 4 section 3 of the Wisconsin Constitution is crystal clear that it is the duty and responsibility of the state legislature to redraw the state’s legislative boundaries every 10 years after the federal census. The maps are redrawn to adjust for population shifts to ensure that each district is roughly equal in population.

 

After the 2020 census, the Republican legislature did their duty and redrew the maps. Democrat Governor Evers vetoed them, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court ended up settling the issue. The maps were challenged multiple times in state and federal court, but the maps were universally ruled constitutional and went into effect for the 2022 election.

 

This was a settled issue. Leftists are frustrated that their supporters are concentrated in a couple of areas in the state. This results in Wisconsin being evenly politically divided in statewide elections, but since legislative districts are geographically dispersed, the leftists’ geographic concentration puts them at a disadvantage in legislative elections. This is why challenging the legislative maps was high on the list of things for the newly Leftists Supreme Court to redo.

 

Right before Christmas, the Supreme Court threw out all of the legislative maps and committed to redrawing them under their own authority, thus usurping the express power conferred to the Legislature in the constitution. The fig leaf they used to cover their overt power grab was that all of the districts were not physically contiguous. Wisconsin’s districts have not been physically contiguous for many decades, but that was their excuse. In fact, in 1992, a Democrat-led legislature drew maps without physically contiguous districts and a federal judicial panel ruled them constitutional. It is goofy, but it is not unconstitutional.

 

Even if one accepts that incontiguous districts are unconstitutional (they are not); and even if one considers the issue so egregious that it must be dealt with now and not at the next apportionment (it is not); the court could have taken the least disruptive action of just redrawing the relevant districts. They did not take the least disruptive action. Instead, they threw out all of the maps and are completely redrawing them in the middle of a presidential election year. The court’s actions reveal the depth of their power grab.

 

On Jan. 12, seven interested parties submitted new maps to the court for them to consider. According to a review by the Marquette University Law School, all seven maps still result in a Republican advantage for the Assembly. That is just how the political math works in an age of ideological ghettoization.

 

The Republicans would also have an advantage for the Senate in five of the seven submitted maps.

 

The Supreme Court does not have to use any of the submitted maps. They could just ignore them all and draw their own. One thing is certain, however: The new maps will maximize the advantage for Democrats even if districts are gerrymandered such that they will be renowned as a piece of abstract art. One need only look to our neighbors in Illinois to see the depths to which Democrats will gerrymander districts to their advantage.

 

But the deeper outrage of the leftist court’s actions is not the “what,” but the “who.” Our government of self-governance relies on the rule of law and the separation of powers. The leftists are rejecting both of these bedrock principles in one stroke. They are substituting ideology for law and brazenly snatching an express constitutional power from the legislative branch of government.

 

We are watching a judicial coup unfold before our eyes. These are menacing times.

 

Usurpers on the high court

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

The leftist-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court is continuing its rampage to strip Wisconsinites of self-governance and reshape the state to their will. Where leftists could not win support for their ideology at the ballot box, they will use the power of the court to advance it.

 

Unless you are a political nerd, it is difficult to convey how bad the court is acting in regard to Wisconsin’s legislative maps. Article 4 section 3 of the Wisconsin Constitution is crystal clear that it is the duty and responsibility of the state legislature to redraw the state’s legislative boundaries every 10 years after the federal census.

 

[…]

 

The Supreme Court does not have to use any of the submitted maps. They could just ignore them all and draw their own. One thing is certain, however: The new maps will maximize the advantage for Democrats even if districts are gerrymandered such that they will be renowned as a piece of abstract art. One need only look to our neighbors in Illinois to see the depths to which Democrats will gerrymander districts to their advantage.

 

But the deeper outrage of the leftist court’s actions is not the “what,” but the “who.” Our government of self-governance relies on the rule of law and the separation of powers. The leftists are rejecting both of these bedrock principles in one stroke. They are substituting ideology for law and brazenly snatching an express constitutional power from the legislative branch of government.

 

We are watching a judicial coup unfold before our eyes. These are menacing times.

Wisconsin Court Preselects “Referees” For Maps

Isn’t it curious how the court selected these two people to decide if the new maps – yet to be drawn – are “fair?” How were they selected? Who interviewed them? Was there input from litigants in the lawsuit? How much will it cost? Was the selection process competitive? How many other people were considered? Who is accountable for their performance? Who is watching the watchers? While the story below attempts to paint them as fair, unbiased arbiters, the opaque selection process that chose them oozes a hand on the scale. This is not what good governent looks like.

When the Wisconsin Supreme Court last week ordered parties to a redistricting lawsuit to draw new legislative maps, it also named two referees to evaluate the maps’ adequacy.

The two consultants — University of California, Irvine political science professor Bernard Grofman and Carnegie Mellon University postdoctoral fellow Jonathan Cervas — may not be household names in Wisconsin, but they have played prominent roles in settling map disputes in other states.

 

[…]

Bernard Grofman

 

Grofman was recently one of two special masters the Virginia Supreme Court hired to draw new maps after that state’s bipartisan commission deadlocked on selecting new ones. Nominated by Democrats, Grofman worked with a Republican-nominated special master to forge new congressional and legislative maps in Virginia that followed similar principles the Wisconsin Supreme Court set forth last week.

 

[…]

Jonathan Cervas

 

Cervas has also been involved in creating new political maps. After a New York judge found Democratic-proposed maps unconstitutional, a judge hired Cervas to redraw boundaries for the state’s U.S. House seats and state Senate.

Radicals in Black Robes Abandon Representative Government

First the Colorado High Court… now Wisconsin’s. We are witnessing the weaponization of the Judicial system by Marxists. Any means necessary. Dark days are ahead.

MADISON – The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Republican-controlled state Legislature to draw new legislative boundaries ahead of the 2024 election, arguing their GOP advantage is unconstitutional — delivering a long-sought win for Democrats who have stayed deep in the Legislature’s minority for more than a decade.

 

The court in a 4-3 decision said the court is also prepared to replace the state’s heavily gerrymandered maps if the Legislature and Democratic governor cannot agree on a new plan.

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to School Choice

Good news!

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to hear a lawsuit brought by Democrats seeking to end the state’s taxpayer-funded private school voucher program.

 

The lawsuit could be refiled in county circuit court, as both Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration and Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos had argued. The Supreme Court rejected it without comment in an unsigned, unanimous order.

 

Democrats who brought the lawsuit asked the state Supreme Court to take the case directly, which would have resulted in a much faster final ruling than having the case start in lower courts.

Unions sue to overturn Wisconsin’s 2011 Act 10

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. I thought we were done debating Act 10, but here we are…

A group of unions have filed suit demanding that Wisconsin’s 2011 Act 10 be thrown out. They argue that the law is unconstitutional because it discriminates between public safety government employees and general government employees. Given that neither public safety government employees nor general government employees constitute a protected class in the state Constitution or in law, the case should be thrown out on its face, but it is probable that this is the beginning of the end of Act 10.

 

Since it has been well over a decade since Act 10 was passed, it is worth refreshing our collective memories about it. In 2010, Democrat Gov. Jim Doyle had declined to run for reelection after a series of scandals and gross mismanagement of the budget. The state was facing a massive $3.6 billion structural deficit. When Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow legislative Republicans were swept into office on a wave of discontent, they were immediately confronted with fixing the deficit. Act 10 began in a special session in early 2011 to fix the Democrats’ budget deficit. A structural budget deficit required a structural repair. At the time, roughly half of the $28.3 billion general fund budget (it was $44.4 billion in the most recent budget — up 57% — but that is for another column) was entitlements. Pension costs ate up 13%, shared revenue and K-12 spending was 15%, and all other state needs (universities, prisons, natural resources, etc.) were squeezed into the remaining 22%. Act 10 was designed to address the structural budget by restructuring the pension and local government parts of the state budget.

 

The problem was that government unions had a stranglehold on that spending. In the days before Act 10, the powerful government unions organized to elect local school board members and other local elected officials. When it came to bargain for government employees, everything was on the table and the union officials were usually negotiating with people they helped elect. The taxpayers were not represented.

 

[…]

 

It worked. The budget was repaired and the tremendous budgeting that Republicans did throughout the 2010s led to the $7 billion budget surplus that politicians are arguing about today. It all started with Act 10.

 

Act 10 has also led to incredible savings for Wisconsin’s taxpayers. According to the MacIver Institute, which has been tracking the impact of Act 10 since it was passed, the cumulative savings stemming from Act 10 for Wisconsin’s taxpayers as of March of this year is $16.8 billion. Put another way, Wisconsin’s high cost of government would have been $16.8 billion more taxing had Act 10 never been passed.

 

Furthermore, the government employees who most opposed Act 10 have been voting with their feet. According to the Wisconsin Policy Institute, of the 983 public-sector unions in Wisconsin at the time of Act 10’s passage, only 318 successfully recertified and were still bargaining for employees as of 2021. Teachers unions are still the most active with 56.2% of them still active. At the other end of the spectrum, only 3.4% of county employee unions are still active. Government employees have been clear. The vast majority of them reject unionization just as most other Wisconsin workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 9.3% of Wisconsin’s workers — including government workers — were unionized in 2021.

 

That’s the rub.

 

Follow the money.

 

The unions suing over Act 10 have been decimated by the law because it allows workers to choose. The unions want to return to the bad old days when unions existed in perpetuity and government workers were forced to be members and pay dues. The unions were also able to shake down taxpayers for even more money like when the state teachers union founded a health insurance company and forced school districts to use it. All of that stopped with Act 10 and the river of taxpayer money that flowed into union coffers slowed to a babbling brook.

 

Despite the fact that Act 10 was litigated multiple times and ruled legal and constitutional every single time, the unions are suing again 12 years after Act 10 passed into law. Why? Because they and their Democrat vassals managed to elect a leftist activist majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The unions and the Democrats are looking to get a return on their investment and reinvigorate the government unions by turning the taxpayer spigot back on full.

Wisconsin Supreme Court begins assault

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News earlier this week:

After the new leftists majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court launched an aggressive interbranch offensive against the legislative branch, the Legislature appears poised to return fire. It is going to get messy.

 

Our Wisconsin state government, modeled after the national government, is designed with three co-equal branches. Each branch is empowered with specific powers to check the other two branches. The structure is designed to prevent any single branch from becoming preeminent, or tyrannical, at the expense of the other two branches. The checks are designed to preserve the balance.

 

When Janet Protasiewicz was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in April, she tipped the balance of the court from conservative to leftist. Normally, such changes in the past have been frustrating for the losing side, but not dramatic. Liberals dominated the court as recently as 2008 and they had held that majority for decades.

 

This time is different. Both Protasiewicz and her fellow judicial leftists made it very clear during the election that they planned to use their majority power on the court to advance their leftist political agenda. Protasiewicz campaigned at length on topics like abortion, Act 10, and legislative maps. This is a significant change from a time when judges promised to rule on the facts of cases that might come before them to overtly advocating for changing policy from the bench. It is a blunt usurpation of power for the Supreme Court to take upon itself the power of creating and changing laws. That power is reserved for the legislative branch with approval of the executive branch.

 

We see events playing out as predicted by this column. Taking the Judicial Junta up on their offer to invalidate the legislature and make law from the bench, a group of leftist special interests filed a lawsuit asking to redraw Wisconsin’s political maps. Last week, the court agreed to bypass all of the lower courts and take original action on the case.

 

The post-census decennial apportionment of legislative boundaries is exclusively a power of the legislative branch as detailed in Article IV, Section 3, of the state Constitution. Despite the fact that the maps were duly debated, passed, challenged in several courts, and affirmed as legal and constitutional by state and federal courts, this group is challenging them again. The only thing that has changed since the maps were decided is that a Judicial Junta took over the court with the election of Protasiewicz. The law has not changed. The Constitution has not changed. The facts have not changed. We have had several elections with these maps. None of that matters to this court. They have a legislative agenda to pass.

 

Furthermore, despite the fact that Protasiewicz repeatedly called the maps “rigged” while campaigning, thus prejudging any case regarding the existing maps that are coming before the court, Protasiewicz has abandoned judicial ethics and agreed to sit in judgment on the case. Given that Protasiewicz has prejudged the case and the other three members of the junta are equally excited about abandoning judicial objectivity and restraint in order to advance their Marxist agenda, the outcome is already determined. We will get some judicial theater to keep up appearances, but the final act is already written.

 

The Supreme Court’s orchestrated attack on a direct constitutional power of a co-equal branch of government is why constitutional checks were created. The legislative branch has a number of options. The Legislature could use the power of the purse to defund the Supreme Court until they cease their constitutional assault. Such a move would be vetoed by the Judicial Junta’s fellow traveler in the executive branch. Gov. Tony Evers has been cheering the destruction of constitutional government. To be fair, Evers may not fully understand the consequences of unbridled judicial rule. He wouldn’t be the first useful idiot to be consumed by his own ideology.

 

Another tool in the Legislature’s belt is impeachment. Article VII, Section 1 of the state Constitution allows the Legislature to impeach, convince, and remove from office any official, “for corrupt conduct in office, or for crimes and misdemeanors.” Is Protasiewicz corrupt for prejudging a case and refusing to recuse herself ? It is a judgment call. “Corrupt” is a vague word that covers a broad range of unsavory behaviors. I would argue that she is corrupt and pairs that corruption with the kind of bumptiousness that would make Hunter Biden raise an eyebrow.

 

Should the Legislature remove Protasiewicz from office, the actual effect may be negligible since the governor will appoint an identical replacement, but that does not mean that the Legislature should shy away from exercising their constitutional check to defend its own power. This court and its controlling junta is just getting started. They are not going to slow down. If anything, they are accelerating and will not change direction unless someone makes them.

 

In sport, checking an opponent does not always change the outcome of the game, but it does put them on notice that actions have consequences. This Supreme Court needs a supreme check.

 

 

Wisconsin Supreme Court Restricts Public Access to Eviction Records

Two years is nothing. It is as close to useless as you can be without being completely useless. Landlords in Wisconsin are going to end up renting to a lot of bad tenants. Look for evictions to increase and rents to go up to cover the costs.

MADISON (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court voted Monday in its first public administrative conference in more than a decade to reduce from 20 years to two years the time when most eviction records must be kept on the state court website.

 

The change was sought by tenant rights advocates who argued that the longer record-keeping has made it more difficult for people with lower incomes to find housing.

 

The court voted 4-3, with liberals in support and conservatives against, for shortening the recordkeeping on the state court website, commonly referred to by the acronym CCAP.

Wisconsin Supreme Court begins assault

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

After the new leftists majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court launched an aggressive interbranch offensive against the legislative branch, the Legislature appears poised to return fire. It is going to get messy.

 

Our Wisconsin state government, modeled after the national government, is designed with three co-equal branches. Each branch is empowered with specific powers to check the other two branches. The structure is designed to prevent any single branch from becoming preeminent, or tyrannical, at the expense of the other two branches. The checks are designed to preserve the balance.

 

When Janet Protasiewicz was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in April, she tipped the balance of the court from conservative to leftist. Normally, such changes in the past have been frustrating for the losing side, but not dramatic. Liberals dominated the court as recently as 2008 and they had held that majority for decades.

 

This time is different. Both Protasiewicz and her fellow judicial leftists made it very clear during the election that they planned to use their majority power on the court to advance their leftist political agenda. Protasiewicz campaigned at length on topics like abortion, Act 10, and legislative maps. This is a significant change from a time when judges promised to rule on the facts of cases that might come before them to overtly advocating for changing policy from the bench. It is a blunt usurpation of power for the Supreme Court to take upon itself the power of creating and changing laws. That power is reserved for the legislative branch with approval of the executive branch.

 

We see events playing out as predicted by this column. Taking the Judicial Junta up on their offer to invalidate the legislature and make law from the bench, a group of leftist special interests filed a lawsuit asking to redraw Wisconsin’s political maps. Last week, the court agreed to bypass all of the lower courts and take original action on the case.

 

The post-census decennial apportionment of legislative boundaries is exclusively a power of the legislative branch as detailed in Article IV, Section 3, of the state Constitution. Despite the fact that the maps were duly debated, passed, challenged in several courts, and affirmed as legal and constitutional by state and federal courts, this group is challenging them again. The only thing that has changed since the maps were decided is that a Judicial Junta took over the court with the election of Protasiewicz. The law has not changed. The Constitution has not changed. The facts have not changed. We have had several elections with these maps. None of that matters to this court. They have a legislative agenda to pass.

 

Furthermore, despite the fact that Protasiewicz repeatedly called the maps “rigged” while campaigning, thus prejudging any case regarding the existing maps that are coming before the court, Protasiewicz has abandoned judicial ethics and agreed to sit in judgment on the case. Given that Protasiewicz has prejudged the case and the other three members of the junta are equally excited about abandoning judicial objectivity and restraint in order to advance their Marxist agenda, the outcome is already determined. We will get some judicial theater to keep up appearances, but the final act is already written.

 

The Supreme Court’s orchestrated attack on a direct constitutional power of a co-equal branch of government is why constitutional checks were created.

Wisconsin Supreme Court’s leftist majority forfeits court’s authority

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.

Wisconsin Supreme Court’s leftist majority forfeits court’s authority

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

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.

 

[…]

 

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.

 

[…]

 

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.

Leftist Justices Begin Rule With Authoritarianism

The Leftists majority on the Supreme Court is off to a spectacular start.

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.

Leftist Court Justices Blasted for Abuse of Power on 2nd Day

What she said.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The conservative chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court accused her liberal colleagues of a “raw exercise of overreaching power” after they flexed their new majority Wednesday and fired the director of the state’s court system.

 

The four liberal justices, on just their second day as a majority on the court after 15 years under conservative control, voted to fire Randy Koschnick. Koschnick held the job for six years after serving for 18 years as a judge and running unsuccessfully as a conservative in 2009 against then-Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, a liberal.

 

“To say that I am disappointed in my colleagues is an understatement,” Chief Justice Annette Ziegler, now a member of the three-justice conservative minority, said in a lengthy statement after Koschnick was fired.

 

Ziegler said the move undermined her authority as chief justice. She called it unauthorized, procedurally and legally flawed, and reckless. But she said she would not attempt to stop it out of fear that other court employees could be similarly fired.

“My colleagues’ unprecedented dangerous conduct is the raw exercise of overreaching power,” she said. “It is shameful. I fear this is only the beginning.”

 

Fellow conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley blasted the move in a social media post, saying, “Political purges of court employees are beyond the pale.”

Leftists take control of the judiciary

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News this week. I’m not optimistic.

Beginning next week, extremist leftists will control two of Wisconsin’s three branches of government when activist Justice Janet Protasiewicz takes her seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin did not spend $8 million to elect her in the most expensive state Supreme Court race in the history of our nation to not expect dramatic results. Dramatic results we will see.

 

For the last fifteen years, the state Supreme Court has had a majority of judicial conservatives. This largely meant that they had a restrained view of judicial power and a strong respect for the separation of powers. A look at their most “controversial” rulings, as characterized by leftists, will find that the high court usually ruled to affirm whatever law was as written unless it ran afoul of the constitution. Such was the case in their rulings on Act 10, School Choice, drop boxes, and many other cases brought before them. Judicial conservatives’ refusal to supplant the will of the people, as expressed through their elected representatives, with the latest leftist orthodoxy has been a source of immense frustration for Wisconsin’s leftists.

 

All of that changes on August first. When Protasiewicz takes her seat, the court will have a majority of judicial liberals – all of which are also ardent political liberals – who have a dramatically different view of the role of the court. In their view, the court is merely an extralegislative body through with they can, and will, enact their political agenda when it proves to be too difficult through the elected legislative process. With the Supreme Court’s accepted role as the final arbiter of law, it is in a powerful position to dictate law when the people get too uppity and refuse to tow the leftist line.

 

Wisconsin’s leftists know that they will likely not get control of the legislature for some time to come. Their ideas are too unpopular in the majority of Wisconsin’s districts (no matter how they draw them) and turning out the leftist voters in Milwaukee and Dane Counties will never get a Democrat elected in Waupaca. The Democratic governor has already done a masterful job this year in neutering the Republican-led legislature. They intend to use the Supreme Court to make the legislature insignificant in the governing of the state.

 

The list of issues that leftists will put before the Supreme Court to rule their way is very long. There is already a case pending regarding Wisconsin’s prohibition of abortion. It will likely make its way to the court by the end of the year and Wisconsin’s infanticide industry will reboot.

 

With Wisconsin being a battleground state for the 2024 presidential election, the National Democrats filed a case last week that will ask Wisconsin Supreme Court to permit ballot drop boxes even though the court correctly ruled them illegal last year. Notice that the Democrats are not attempting to pass a law to allow drop boxes. They are expecting the court to impose their will. The court absolutely will enact the policy goals of the Democratic Party. We can expect the Democrats to push further to loosen Wisconsin’s election laws regarding things like Voter ID, registration requirements, absentee ballot rules, and others in order to maximize the opportunity for people to cheat.

 

Leftists are also likely to launch an effort to get the court to throw out the current district lines – likely with trumped up accusations of racism – in order to get the court to gerrymander the states political districts in favor of Democrats. They will not be able to create a Democrat majority this way, but they will put their thumb on the scale.

 

Leftists are also talking about launching cases to have the Supreme Court decide in their favor on massive public policy issues that have been debated in the state for decades. Very soon, expect the Supreme Court to make rulings that gut School Choice, overturn Right to Work, undermine Act 10, and put fangs into the mouth of the DNR. When the majority of the justices on the Supreme Court do not recognize any limits to their power and authority, we can expect them to act accordingly.

 

Make no mistake. The state and national leftists have been working and planning the takeover of the Supreme Court for years. They are not going to show any restraint in reshaping the state to their ideology irrespective of how much the little people bleat. Wisconsin is going to be a very different state in two years.

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