In view of the controversy over whether the new Wisconsin collective bargaining law was properly published and thus in effect, Democrat Judge Maryann Sumi has revamped her previous ruling to say that the law was not published and thus is not in force.
This is quite a far cry from her original ruling, where she stated that she was merely ruling on whether the bill was in violation of Wisconsin's open meeting law and not ruling on the validity of the law itself...but hey, lawfare is lawfare.
And I'm sure her son, who runs a company that lobbies for public employee unions and her union activist husband are certainly pleased.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) called the order "judicial activism at its worst."
"Once again, one Dane County judge is doing everything she can to stand in the way of our efforts to improve the economy and create jobs," said a statement he issued.
Unlike some other state's Wisconsin's Supreme Court justices are elected, and the controversy has affected an upcoming race.
Incumbent David Prosser is being challenged by Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, for a ten-year term. The election is April 5th.
Kloppenburg is a former environmental lawyer and a fairly typical Left wing loon. Ordinarily she wouldn't have a chance, but money talks.
By Wisconsin law, each candidate receives $300,000 in public funds and is restricted to that amount, but public employee union groups have spent huge sums on her behalf. The Greater Wisconsin Committee, a leftist organizing group with deep union ties, has funneled $3 million into anti-Prosser advertising. One ad they're running around the clock falsely accuses Prosser of being 'soft on pedophiles' because he allowed a plea bargain for a Catholic priest some years ago when a court psychiatrist testified that forcing the two young victims to testify could cause them serious psychological trauma.
Even one of the victims, Troy Merryfield has come out publicly and said that Judge Prosser's decision was the right one at the time and asked that the ad be pulled. And Prosser, understandably angered, demanded that Kloppenburg disavow the ads "which she knows are false' but so far, she has refused.
“It is the worst ad that has ever been run in a judicial campaign,” he asserted. “If some third party ran an ad supporting me and attacking you, and it was despicable, and it was a lie, I would stand up and ask that the ad be pulled,” he argued. “You are not willing to do that, even at the request of the victim in the ad?”
Uhhh, nope. She isn't.
Right now, the Court has a 4-3 conservative majority. If Kloppenburg gets in, that changes...but not for some months, so Prosser would still likely be the justice that hears the case even if he loses - and the State Supreme Court agrees to hear it.
The Democrats and the public employee unions are also pouring serious money into the state in an attempt to gin up a recall of Walker and other Republican state legislators.
In many ways, this is the first battle of the 2012 election.