Friday, September 29, 2006

Can anyone take this case?

Congressman Mark Green wants the state supreme court to rule on whether he must return $467,000 in special interest money that the State Elections Board is illegal.

We pointed out a couple of potential problems and conflicts and suggested the court could be shorthanded.

The Associated Press has expanded the list:
If the case gets to the Supreme Court, there are a number of potential conflicts:

Justice David Prosser served as a Republican member of the Legislature and speaker of the Assembly at the same time Green was caucus chairman.

Justice Jon Wilcox is a former Republican lawmaker who has had his own run-ins with the Elections Board.

Justice Ann Walsh Bradley received a $100 donation from the governor's wife, Jessica Doyle, in December 2004 for her successful campaign for re-election the next year.

Justice Louis Butler was appointed to the bench by Doyle in 2004.

Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson also has ties to the Doyle family, having been longtime friends with Doyle's recently deceased mother.
It takes four justices out of seven to agree to hear the case. The AP is suggesting that anyone who ever met Jim Doyle or Mark Green may be disqualified. In fact, when the AP gets done, there are only two left: Pat Crooks and Pat Roggensack.

Carrie Lynch, however, has discovered a $500 contribution from Mark Green's campaign to Roggensack when she ran for the court. So strike her.

That leaves Pat Crooks, who may have a little problem in light of all of the contributions he's taken from the law firm representing Green. If $100 from Jessica Doyle is an issue, these would be, too:
Clark, Jeffrey P
$100 - Thursday, February 16, 1995
Reinhart, Boerner, et al
Lawyers/Law Firms/Lobbyists
Brookfield, WI 53005

Graber, Richard W
$250 - Thursday, February 16, 1995
Reinhart, Boerner, et al
Lawyers/Law Firms/Lobbyists
Shorewood, WI 53211

Clark, Jeffrey P
$100 - Tuesday, March 07, 1995
Reinhart, Boerner, et al
Lawyers/Law Firms/Lobbyists
Brookfield, WI 53005

Weber, Ralph A
$100 - Thursday, December 15, 1994
Reinhart, Boerner, et al
Lawyers/Law Firms/Lobbyists
Wauwatosa, WI 53213

Stanton, Thomas M
$150 - Tuesday, October 18, 1994
Reinhart, Boerner, et al
Lawyers/Law Firms/Lobbyists
Menasha, WI 54952

Stanton, Thomas M
$150 - Tuesday, March 21, 1995
Reinhart, Boerner, et al
Lawyers/Law Firms/Lobbyists
Menasha, WI 54952

Clark, Jeffrey P
$50 - Monday, August 07, 1995
Reinhart, Boerner, et al
Lawyers/Law Firms/Lobbyists
Brookfield, WI 53005

Stanton, Thomas M
$100 - Friday, August 11, 1995
Reinhart, Boerner, et al
Lawyers/Law Firms/Lobbyists
Menasha, WI 54952

Graber, Richard W
$150 - Thursday, March 16, 1995
Reinhart, Boerner, et al
Lawyers/Law Firms/Lobbyists
Shorewood, WI 53211

Weber, Ralph A
$100 - Friday, March 24, 1995
Reinhart, Boerner, et al
Lawyers/Law Firms/Lobbyists
Wauwatosa, WI 53213
So who's going to hear this case? If you believe in the theory that friendship, an acquaintance, or small contributions make a judge unable to decide a case fairly, on the merits, the whole court will have to sit this one out.

UPDATE: It turns out that Pat Crooks is "a dear friend" of Mark Green's.

UPDATE 2: On the Elections Board, Green donor to vote on Green donations.

2 Comments:

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Interloper said...

This is exactly why judges shouldn't be elected and shouldn't have campaign accounts in their name. Sure, elected officials have to appoint them as some point, but there's no campaign cash and no electioneering.

It's pretty obvious that Wisconsin does not have an independent judiciary.

 
At 6:20 PM, Blogger goofticket said...

The Supreme Court can rule on this case.
It can decide that the Dane Co. judge did not make any mistakes in his decision; that both sides had properly provided eveidences in the case, that the evidence was correctly identified by the Dane Co. court, that both arguments were reviewed and that there was nothing warranting a Supreme Court review, of any portion of the case.
They can make the lower courts rulng stand.

 

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