Gov. Walker and Special Interest Pals Go Venue Shopping for Friendly Court

But Is a Majority of State Supreme Court Justices Too Friendly?

MADISON, Wis. — Defense lawyers for Gov. Walker are reportedly appealing to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and its right-wing majority, to try to protect him from prosecutors investigating alleged illegal coordination between his campaign and right-wing groups. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross questioned whether the conservative court majority might be too friendly with Gov. Walker and groups targeted in the probe to credibly take or judge the case.

“The parties that Gov. Walker’s legal appeal would protect from investigation have spent millions to put a right-wing majority on the court,” said Ross. “It would be an unprecedented assault on ethical government and the integrity of the court if these same justices took the case and participated in a decision.”

According to news reports and disclosures by parties reporting they are ensnared in a secret “John Doe” probe, prosecutors are investigating allegations Gov. Walker’s 2012 recall election campaign illegally coordinated with outside groups including the Wisconsin Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Justices Roggensack, Prosser, Gableman and Ziegler have all benefitted from outside spending by one or more of the groups allegedly under investigation for campaign impropriety by prosecutors. Records show Club for Growth spent substantially on behalf of all four justices’ campaigns

Ross concluded, “By sitting in judgment of this appeal for protection, the right wing court majority would be paying back their campaign benefactors, and aiding and abetting Gov. Walker’s rampant cronyism and corruption. Hopefully they will rise above partisan politics and do the right thing by refusing to take or sit on the case.”

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.