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Monday, March 19, 2012


It’s no longer a rumor.

Wisconsin’s courts are ruled by Uber Liberal Partisan judges. Gannett Media reported that 29 WI circuit court judges were among thousands who signed Walker recall petitions. That’s 12% of the state’s approximately 250 county judges. The most liberal county judges are in Milwaukee County where 11 judges, about one-fourth of the judges in the county, signed petitions. No surprise there. None of the 16 appeals court judges or seven WI Supreme Court justices signed. Seems they have more brains than the circuit court judges. What judge would believe
it’s okay to sign a recall petition against his governor? Aren’t judges supposed to be non-partisan?

Chapter 60, WI State Statute says, “No judge or candidate
for judicial office or judge-elect may…participate in the affairs, caucuses,
promotions, platforms, endorsements, conventions or activities of a political
party or of a candidate for partisan office.” Pretty clear to me, wouldn’t you say?

But take a look at Dane County Judge David Flanagan. He signed a recall petition. And last week he issued an injunction to halt enactment of Governor Walker’s Voter ID law. How non-partisan is that? It gets worse for the judge. His wife was a recall petition circulator, and Judge Flanagan signed his wife’s petition. In addition to that, it’s been reported that the ruling is very sloppily written, incorrectly cites a provision in the state Constitution and refers to U. S.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as William Scalia. The problems with the written ruling are damaging to the ruling’s credibility and Flanagan’s credibility, as well. Flanagan doesn’t even know the correct name of a Supreme Court Justice. Sure gives me confidence in the legal system. Just guessing, but it appears the Judge wrote the ruling in haste and made a royal
mess of it.

Many citizens have lost confidence in governmental bodies and the courts. Judge Flanagan just proved we are right to have little faith in the legislative branch. It is critical that judges do everything to demonstrate that their decisions are free of political influence. State judges often have to decide cases where the governor is a party to a case. In fact, Gov. Walker was named as a defendant in the Voter ID case. Judges often have to rule on close elections. How can any judge sign a recall petition and claim he’s unbiased or non partisan? At the very least, with Flanagan’s name on a petition he should have immediately recused himself from ruling on the Voter ID

All 29 judge signers should step aside on any decision that is partisan. There’s no way they can
rule fair and square when their heart lies in a specific political arena.

And for those judges who signed and claim this is not a partisan issue, Flanagan included? I say
Bull Poop. The line is pretty clearly drawn when you support a recall election that is 100% Democratic. No way can you justify your participation in this recall travesty and then proceed to rule on the validity of actions taken by the guy you believe should be recalled. The public is not that stupid!


  1. I'd LOVE a list of these 29 judges and the counties in which they preside. Could you supply us with that, Sandy?

  2. I have been unable to find a listing of all of the Judges's names and the counties they are from. I will keep trying, though, and if I can find one I will post it here.

  3. I believe that judges have the ability to perform their duties in a non-partisan matter, while still holding personal beliefs that may be partisan. The statute simply says that they may not participate in strictly partisan activities, such as donating to a certain party. I don't see how signing a recall petition is considered a partisan activity anymore than voting is.
    If you think that people cannot have personal partisan beliefs while simultaneously performing non-partisan duties, then how is it possible you will be able to serve on a non-partisan school board while still maintaining your strict conservative beliefs?

  4. As a member of the non-partisan school board I will not be asked to make legal decisions that are binding on everyone in the State of WI. A sitting judge should avoid the appearance of favoritism so that the public can maintain faith in the legal system. I have no problem with judges signing any petition. But if an issue then comes before them that directly pertains to their signing of a petition, they should have to recuse themselves. That's the only way to ensure the public that our legal system is truly non-partisan.

    The duties of a school board member are far different from the duties of a District Court Judge.