Email date: 9/17/09
In this update:
1. Hearing held in Gableman judicial misconduct case
2. Supreme Court election reform on Legislature’s fall agenda
Hearing held in Gableman judicial misconduct case
Charged with judicial misconduct for this ad (March 14, Gableman TV ad, "Prosecutor") his campaign sponsored in 2008, state Supreme Court Michael Gableman had a hearing before a three-judge panel yesterday. Gableman’s fate appears to depend on an almost Clintonesque parsing of what it means to knowingly misrepresent the facts about an election opponent, which is prohibited by Wisconsin’s ethics code for judges.
The case hinges on a question posed by the Wisconsin State Journal in its front-page story this morning: "What, exactly, is a lie?"
The charges against Gableman mark the second time in state history that a member of the Supreme Court has been accused of violating the Judicial Code of Conduct and faced possible discipline by the high court. Last year the winner of the 2007 election, Justice Annette Ziegler, was found guilty of misconduct and was formally reprimanded by her colleagues. To listen to Wisconsin Public Radio coverage of the Gableman case, go here.
Not many have noticed, but the lawyer Gableman chose to defend him served as another reality check on the supposed nonpartisanship of the Supreme Court, as we noted today in our Big Money Blog.
Supreme Court election reform on Legislature’s fall agenda
Majority Democrats in the state Assembly issued their fall legislative agenda the other day, and Supreme Court election reform is on the list. Way back in January, Senate leader Russ Decker issued a statement promising that two major campaign reforms, including public financing of Supreme Court elections, would "come up soon" in the Senate.