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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Friday, March 25, 2011

JoAnne Kloppenburg Running Facts-and-Law Campaign

By Michael Leon

I took some flak here for criticizing both Louis Butler Jr. and Justice Michael Gableman, 2008 candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Butler—now a blocked nominee for federal judgeship with no outraged GOP cries of "up-or-down-floor vote"and Justice Gableman both disgraced the judicial office they sought to hold, I asserted.

'Don’t worry about the result; just tell me what the law is.’

Such a directive ought to be the mission, objective and goal of every justice of the state’s top appellate court, the Wisconsin Supreme Court. ...

If one were to ask candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2008 their commitment to the above principle, one can expect a declaration of absolute fidelity, right? ... [Y]ou would not deduce the presence of this judicial ethos from the campaigns of the two leading candidates for the [Supreme Court], Louis Butler and Judge Michael Gableman. (February 5, 2008)
Since 2008, we have seen two candidates for Wisconsin's high court who dared to edify the electorate in the function of the state's top appellate judicial body—stressing the imperative to be impartial, and avoiding political demagoguery.

These two jurists honor the bench: Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, now a candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Abrahamson ran a facts-and-law campaign and won reelection decisively in 2009.

This election, we also have one candidate running a facts-and-law campaign: Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg.

Kloppenburg opponent, Justice David Prosser, on the other hand, goes out of his way to declare his bias towards specific communities of interest and certain classes of litigants, as well as fidelity to his political party, a committment Prosser unconvincingly goes on to deny when called on this corrupt stance in office.

From Kloppenburg:
In two weeks, Wisconsin voters will elect a Supreme Court Justice.

You and I share the belief that Justices must be independent, impartial and committed to deciding each case on the facts and the law.

That is the kind of Justice I will be.
Independence, impartiality and committment to facts and the law.

That's refreshing. And in the face of an often lawless Scott Walker administration, committment to facts and the law is imperative to preserve the state of Wisconsin as a functioning democratic entity.

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