MADISON, Wis. — State Supreme Court candidate James Daley has “flipped his flop” on legislative Republican’s fast track power grab to unseat the high court’s current Chief Justice. In December Daley endorsed the GOP’s ‘Supreme Injustice’ amendment to the state constitution to unseat the current court chief, but subsequently changed his stance to “no opinion” in early January. In comments to the media yesterday, Daley is again supporting the GOP authored power grab also backed by the conservative special interest lobby Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.
“Daley’s public waffling on the operation of the court to which he wants to be elected is concerning on its own,” commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “But his cavalier attitude toward changing the state’s constitution to appease partisan politicians and big spending special interests is downright disconcerting.”
Currently, and for well over a century, the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court has been selected based on seniority based on the provisions of Article VII Section 4 of the Wisconsin State Constitution.
State Legislative Republicans have introduced resolutions that could, if adopted, result in the removal of the current Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson. Court conservatives, who tend to align themselves with legislative Republicans, would likely choose her replacement from among their ranks. That would inject partisan politics where none are needed and create a situation where justices jockeying for power would be more interested in appeasing fellow justices and politicians rather than serving the public.
Ross noted that Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce has spent heavily to help elect the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s current conservative majority. Adding to the unseemliness is that the state’s high court is being asked to consider cases dealing with the “John Doe” criminal investigation of illegal coordination between Gov. Walker’s campaign and outside conservative groups.
He concluded, “The last thing we need is a high court justice that chooses special interests and political expediency over defending our rights and the state constitution. And as of today that’s the choice being made by Mr. Daley.”