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Apr 11, 201611:05 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Dane County judges affirm their right to be overturned

(page 1 of 2)

Your honor, if it may displease the court  …

Our liberal, etc. acquaintances are rejoicing that another Dane County judge, previously a Democrat partisan office holder, overturned another act of the Wisconsin legislature — this time, right to work. Celebrate while you can, my fine acquaintances.

Spoke with A.G. Brad Schimel over the weekend about this. Ya think this one is ultimately headed to the state supreme court? Chief Justice Patience Roggensack presiding? Newly elected Justice Rebecca Bradley seated for a 5–2 reversal? If it isn’t already reversed in the appellate court sitting in Waukesha?

Judges elected from ultra-liberal Madison routinely overturn legislation passed by a legislature elected statewide and signed by the governor, whether it’s Act 10 or Voter ID — only to be overruled by wiser legal heads upstream, including the state supreme court, which is also elected statewide.

Dane County Circuit Courts also refused to order Madison teachers back to work when they walked out of their classroom for five days during the Act 10 intifada of 2011.

Hell's bells, Dane County just elevated to the bench a Black Lives Matter activist named Everett Mitchell, who opined that big-box shoplifters should not be prosecuted if they meet his racial tests. Jim Crow in reverse! (Video here.) Of course, Mitchell was endorsed by Madison-based appellate judge JoAnne Kloppenburg, whose bid to ascend to the state’s highest court was rejected once again by voters statewide.

“The Dane County Circuit Court has become a legal ATM for the state’s progressives,” Christian Schneider wrote a few years ago for the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. “Insert a court challenge, and out comes a favorable opinion that will cost your opponents buckets of cash to appeal.”

Your humble scribe proposes a constitutional fix. He would create a special court that would hear all initial challenges of state legislation and it would be the only court to do so. It would be composed of five judges chosen by the governor from the 16 elected appellate judges serving on the four appellate courts, to be approved by the legislature. Its decisions are appealable directly to the state supreme court.

This wise measure, having been approved by the GOP Second District Caucus Saturday, is headed for consideration at the Wisconsin Republican Convention May 13–15 in Green Bay.

Voter, identify yourself

Voter ID is another measure that was once temporarily delayed by the Dane County judiciary. Our … acquaintances ... are certain that the turnout, the highest in 40 years, the second-highest of all the presidential primaries so far this year, would have been even higher if grandmothers, minority races, and students hadn’t been turned away in droves. But then, where are the droves?

Matt Kittle at Wisconsin Watchdog observes:

The left, on cue, lashed out … with over-wrought accounts of voter suppression caused by Wisconsin’s voter ID law. Buried in the story of a 67-year-old man who did not bring the proper documents to obtain a voter identification card through the state DMV, is a critical fact: The man still got to cast a provisional ballot, just like everyone in Wisconsin who could not present an acceptable ID.

But does Photo ID keep some lawful voters from the polls? Brother Brian Fraley acknowledges:

I will readily admit that. Who is prevented from voting? People who don’t want to follow the rules. Too bad. You can’t vote if you’re not in line before 8 p.m. and you can’t vote if you don’t have a photo ID. Polling hours are restrictions, too. Hell, ballots themselves are restrictions. Why can’t you vote for your three best choices, why only one? It’s pretty simple, there are basic rules set forth for elections. If they are applied uniformly, then they are fair.

Well, that’s pretty much what the courts said, outside of two Dane County judges. Both the state supreme court and the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and, ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court when it refused to consider a challenge.

Brother Fraley might also have added the voter must be 18 years of age, not incarcerated or serving probation for a felony, an American citizen, a resident of the State of Wisconsin for at least 28 days prior to the election, and a resident of the jurisdiction from which s/he is voting. Oh, it’s so unfair!


Old to new | New to old
Apr 11, 2016 12:01 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Which is it, "Ol' Sparky", or "Old Smokey" ??

And who will be "your" candidate once Cruz falters?

Apr 11, 2016 12:42 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Why not just pass laws under the nose of Reince Prebus for approval? If it's good enough for Mike Grebe, it's good enough for the state of Wisconsin! Rule of law? That's fine for campaign speeches, but what we really want is a state ruled by WMC, ain't that right Blaska?

I got yer third branch of government right here!

Apr 11, 2016 12:50 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

Who will be "your" candidate once Hillary is indicted?

Apr 11, 2016 01:57 pm
 Posted by  AnonyBob

Let me get this straight: the GOP completely owns 5 undistinguished SC justices (the most recently elected one rated "unqualified" by her legal peers) and the appellate court is Waukesha-based. Yet it's the former DA, Judge Foust, (by all accounts a fair and reasonable guy) who's the partisan here? Really? You say this with a straight face?

Apr 11, 2016 03:05 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


You want to place a bet on an indictment? Or just shooting yourself in the foot again?

Apr 11, 2016 09:45 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

The judge's name is William Foust. Why not name him? Because he's a very popular judge and, prior to that, widely respected district at attorney?

Politics over accuracy. The blogging way, I guess.

Apr 12, 2016 08:47 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

"Who will be "your" candidate once Hillary is indicted?" Why Dave, do you keep pretending that's even a possibility?

Apr 12, 2016 02:36 pm
 Posted by  John

Right to Work is the law in more than half the states of the union and Foust's "property rights" argument (such as it is .... really, a union has a constitutional "right" to your dues?!?) has lost each and every time it's been used as justification. So yes, Foust is throwing a bone to his liberal neighbors so his house doesn't get picketed like Walker's, knowing that his ruling will be overturned at the first neutral court venue it gets to.

Apr 12, 2016 03:26 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Hillary indicted? Did they finally get evidence on her for the Vince Foster murder? When will we investigate why we are always investigating her even though nothing is ever found. That truly is worthy of an investigation.

Apr 13, 2016 05:54 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

hey Blaska..have you been drinking the water in Lake Mills? A special court? Where's the money coming from for that idea? 5 judges appointed by the gov? I'm sure that will be completely transparent and carried out as all the other walker appointees(donors) have been done in the past. Approved by the legislature? You mean rubber-stamped at 3am saturday morning.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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