Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Lack Of Fact, Lack of Reason"

Brendan Fischer, legal fellow at PRWatch, analyzed and broke down the highly questionable and irregular act of the Koch-sponsored majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Here is an excerpt, but do read the whole thing:
"Many people would likely find it puzzling," Justice Crooks writes in dissent, that "we, the highest court in the state, cannot simply order up whatever information is needed." But because of the unusual procedural posture, "those boxes of documents, transcripts and evidence that we ordinarily review were not made available to us."

Justice Abrahamson, also dissenting, wrote that "faced with no record, [the four justices in the majority] conjure their own facts -- something this court should never do, regardless of whether it is exercising appellate or original jurisdiction ... The ready availability of a direct appeal by aggrieved parties makes this all the more puzzling," Justice Crooks wrote. "I am convinced that these significant issues should be addressed through a direct appeal, which would allow this court to more fully resolve, with the benefit of a complete record, the complex legal and factual issues at stake."

The lack of factual background tainted the Court's decision and constitutional interpretation. Nothing prevented the Court from waiting to accept a direct appeal, and to make a careful decision based on a complete evidentiary record. But with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald threatening to insert collective bargaining into the budget if the Court did not act before the end of Tuesday, the court rushed an order with minimal factual background.

According to Justice Crooks, "those who would rush to judgment on these matters are essentially taking the position that getting this opinion out is more important than doing it right and getting it right." Indeed, that is what happened. In its rush to issue an opinion, the conservative majority overreached, issuing a problematic constitutional interpretation and violating its own judicial principles in the process.
Read it all and allow yourself to feel the rage. Then join in the fight to take Wisconsin back, while there's still a Wisconsin to take back.

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