MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel has made no public comments in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s comments coddling white supremacists and neo-Nazis whose hateful gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia resulted in deaths and injuries to peaceful protesters and law enforcement officers. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross today called out Schimel for his cowardice.
“Donald Trump made the most disgusting comments coddling racism and racists made by an occupant of the White House in the lifetime of any current living American,” said Ross. “Shame on Brad Schimel for his silence, for his lack of courage and for his lack of leadership.”
Ross noted that Schimel in words and deeds has failed to inspire confidence in his commitment to racial justice.
As reported at the time, in comments on the campaign trail in 2014, Schimel said he would have defended measures banning interracial marriage as an Attorney General of a state with such laws, saying, “… as the state’s lawyer, it’s not my job to pick and choose.” His comments were a follow up to his declaration he was committed to defending the Wisconsin ban on gay marriage, subsequently invalidated by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
In office, Schimel has defended and appealed a court decision striking down anti-voter laws adopted by his fellow Republicans found by a judge to be specifically discriminatory to African Americans. In the ruling being appealed by Schimel, federal district Judge James Peterson wrote:
“ … restricting hours for in-person absentee voting, intentionally discriminates on the basis of race. I reach this conclusion because I am persuaded that this law was specifically targeted to curtail voting in Milwaukee without any other legitimate purpose. The legislature’s immediate goal was to achieve a partisan objective, but the means of achieving that objective was to suppress the reliably Democratic vote of Milwaukee’s African Americans.”
This is also not the only time Schimel has had Trump’s back after he made disgusting comments. At a Republican campaign rally in fall 2016, Schimel encouraged voters to support Trump as he was being roundly denounced for his lewd comments in which he bragged of sexually assaulting women.
“There is no debate that Donald Trump’s comments were disgusting and wrong. And there is no debate that the silence of Brad Schimel in the aftermath is shameful and cowardly.”