Thursday, March 1, 2012

Wisconsin Supreme Court is FUBAR

Secret discussions, lack of ethics, and blatant conflicts of interest make for a FUBAR Wisconsin Supreme Court.

State Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman refuses to recuse himself from at least three cases of blatant conflict of interest. He received free legal services from the same Wisconsin law firm that has argued three recent cases in front of him. That is, he received tens of thousands of dollars in professional legal services without having to pay for them. And now these lawyers are arguing cases in front of him, asking him to side with them, which he has all three times. He's been asked several times to recuse himself, but he refuses saying the free legal services aren't "a gift as defined under law."

Free is free, and a gift is a gift, buddy. Any other justice would be removed from such a case by someone Mr. Gableman. Just because you sit on the highest court in Wisconsin doesn't mean you get to do what you want. Well it kinda does, as we can see, but it shouldn't and that's one reason the Wisconsin Supreme Court is FUBAR.

Gableman received the free legal services during the ethics trial against him. He was exonerated of the charges, but it appears to very many people that Gableman is severely in violation of ethics. A sitting justice in clear violation of ethics is another reason why the Wisconsin Supreme Court is FUBAR.

Earlier this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court voted on ideological lines to end a long Wisconsin tradition of public discussions by the court, making the discussions private instead. The conservatives on the court are following the lead of the Republicans eroding open government to keep things secret. Of course they did it because the conservatives are sick of looking bad in public. They may have even done it because they plan to make some moves on a case soon, and they want to keep their discussions private. Who knows why, either way it can't be good for Wisconsin, and it's another reason why the Wisconsin Supreme Court is FUBAR.

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