MADISON, Wis. — The conservative majority on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court today voted to kill a petition supported by 56 retired judges to reform the rules guiding state court judges on when they must recuse themselves in cases involving parties that supported their campaigns.
Today’s action let’s stand the current rule, literally written by special interest groups that spent millions of dollars on the campaigns of the judges comprising the current court majority.
The following are the comments of One Wisconsin Now Research Director and attorney Jenni Dye:
“When it comes to questions about their ethics and their public reputations, the conservative court majority has no problem decrying how they are portrayed. But as we saw today, they won’t do anything clean up their acts.
“It seems like the five conservative justices on the state’s high court overlooked the guarantee of due process under the Constitution, and instead they voted to protect the special interests’ ability to game a “pay your dues” process.
“By rejecting the petition – or even holding a public hearing to consider it – they defended a status quo where members of this Court and other judges can reap electoral rewards of massive special interest spending with no concern for the appearance, if not the existence, of actual corruption or the damage done to the public’s faith in the impartiality of the court.”