April 20, 2011
April 20, 2011
We think it was a Far Side cartoon that showed a defendant looking across a courtroom to see 12 kangaroos seated in the jury box. We know how he felt.
Changes to Wisconsin collective bargaining law were enacted more than a month ago. It’s time for the judicial branch in Dane County to butt out and stop abusing its powers.
Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi is stalling her decision whether the bill’s passage violated the Open Meetings Law—a decision reachable in, oh… 30 seconds if she’d read the law and the legislative rules, and if the decision were hers to make.
The proper action would be to dismiss the lawsuits by Dane County’s partisan Democrat district attorney and public employee unions, since pronouncing on the Legislature’s procedural rules is clearly none of the court’s business.
Appealing to judicial grown-ups has so far done no good. Jurisdiction—as if it were a legitimate issue in this make-believe case—belongs to the Madison-based District IV Court of Appeals. Of the three judges there, one is a standard Madison Liberal and another actually prosecuted people for providing the same caucus staff political services he used in winning his previous job as Dane County District Attorney.
Undoubtedly hoping to put Justice David Prosser on the spot, these worthies refuse to hear the case and say it should go directly to the state Supreme Court.
No word yet from Olympus, where Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson must be fuming that she missed getting the Liberal majority she needs to—again, on trumped-up grounds—overturn the law.
The only honest answer any court could give is that the Legislature’s conduct of its affairs is its own business. It would be naïve to expect such humility from any “justice” system based in Dane County.