cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Is this the end of the court battles in Madison or only the beginning? The decision yesterday afternoon had been expected since the Circuit Court of Judge MaryAnn Sumi appeared to observers to have overstepped its bounds in the earlier decision that the legislature had violated open meetings laws thus negating the law it had passed in that session.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court decision was surprising in a couple of ways; it was a 7-0 decision but contained a scathing minority opinion written by the Chief Justice that displayed the contempt she has for Justice Prosser. This court has been said to have been dysfunctional for quite a few years and this opinion seems to showcase just how dysfunctional.
Back to the first question: does this mark the end of such cases or is it only the beginning? I suspect that there is no end in sight given the virtual lock of liberal judges in Dane County’s courts and given the significant legislation that will likely continue to flow from this legislature. There has been some thought that a new law could be enacted that would give rotating counties the jurisdiction even though the Capitol is physically located in Dane County. There would still be an appellate process available and cases could still get to the Supreme Court, but at least the starting point wouldn’t be quite so loaded to the liberal side of the equation. (And if this doesn’t frame how important the Prosser victory was, nothing will ever frame it.)
The current situation was more obstructive than it was an even-handed judiciary system at work. It was meant to delay and frustrate. The three-legged stool of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government needs be maintained in the balance originally intended. “Rights” cannot be created when they do not exist simply because a judge decides that he or she would like to have such a “right”…that ours would be a better world with such a right.
The recall elections may reframe the debate considering that there are six Republicans and only three Democrats involved in trying to hold on to their offices. Three Republicans being tossed out with no Democrats being removed would throw the Senate to a Democrat majority.
Wisconsin will more likely than not continue to be in the national news for some time to come.