Posts Tagged ‘Judicial Commission’

Commission dismisses Gableman’s charges

November 12, 2009


“Therefore, we conclude that the facts alleged in the complaint do not constitute a violation of SCR 60.06(3)(c) for which discipline may be imposed. Accordingly, we recommend that Justice Gableman’s motion for summary judgment be granted and the Commission’s complaint be dismissed.”

The arguments in favor of dismissal were unanimous, although each member issued a strongly worded condemnation of Gableman’s campaign tactics.

The decision was based on the premise that the Judicial Code only “encourages” judges to avoid “misleading statements.” Therefore, because the individual statements in the ad were technically true, Gableman’s misconduct can only be frowned upon, not disciplined.

The best part:

“It is more than a bit ironic that Justice Gableman has been represented in this matter by an able lawyer who, it might be argued, found a loophole.

More discussion on this later.

Just plant some crack on Michael Gableman

September 15, 2009

At least then his downfall would be consistent with his judicial philosophy that the law should not get in the way of putting people in prison.

Tomorrow is the moment of truth for Gableman, who will present his case to a state judicial panel, which will determine whether the some of the ads he ran against his opponent in last year’s Supreme Court race were dishonest. In case you forgot, Gableman’s entire campaign was based on the premise that incumbent justice Louis Butler was soft on crime, evidenced by his ability to find “loopholes” to set criminals free…as a public defender.

Gableman’s ad described the case of Reuben Lee Mitchell, a child sex offender who Butler defended on appeal as a public defender.

“Butler found a loophole. Mitchell went on to molest another child,” the ad said.

What it didn’t say was that while Butler prevailed before the appeals court, the Supreme Court ruled that Mitchell had to remain behind bars. He committed the subsequent crime only after he was released on parole.

The state Judicial Commission filed a complaint against Gableman in October, saying Gableman violated a provision of the state’s judicial ethics code that bars judges from lying about political opponents.

But Gableman argues the ad was true because it did not explicitly say that Butler’s actions caused Mitchell’s release. He can’t control how viewers might interpret his ads, his lawyers have argued.

What’s most disturbing about this case is not merely that Gableman lied, but that the complaint against him doesn’t include reference to his obvious disdain for the state’s constitution. His campaign was founded on the idea of disregarding a defendant’s right to legal representation. How can he possibly be fit to serve in a position where he will be expected to uphold that right? According to Gableman’s campaign, Butler’s response should have been,”Actually, on occasion I didn’t defend my clients. Sometimes I made sure to give them poor options, to make sure they were convicted and put in prison.”

On a different note Political Capital wonders if there is any motivation for justices to be non-partisan and impartial anymore. The answer in Wisconsin, I believe, points to the contrary.

Even worse, Minnesotans are now laughing at the Sconz’s legal system.

Michael Gableman looking for a loophole…

July 9, 2009

Justice Michael Gableman is now making the case that the ethics complaint against him is a form of harassment. Sound familiar? I think we’ve heard similar stories up in Alaska. Hopefully this story will end the same way. And no, that does not mean Michael Gableman for president.

Illusory Tenant has been on Justice Michael Gableman’s case for awhile, and rightly points out that Gableman’s case before the Wisconsin Judicial Commission has been overlooked by the media.

“According to the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, a teevee advertisement approved by Gableman during his 2008 election campaign “contains a false statement of fact that [Gableman] made intentionally or with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity.”

The Judicial Commission found the ad “does extreme violence to the public’s confidence in the integrity of Wisconsin’s judicial system.”

This is an important test for Wisconsin’s judicial system, and it’s encouraging to see that our hyper-partisan judicial system, in which judges are politicians and not jurists, has some (albeit low) standards for judicial conduct. At issue of course is Gableman’s campaign in 2008, when he effectively labeled his opponent a friend of child molesters by accusing him of “finding loopholes” to set criminals free. Or worse…defending criminals back when he was a…defense attorney. Translation: he believes in the 5th amendment of the constitution. Nice to see somebody else notices the irony of Gableman, now a defendant himself, criticizing somebody for making decisions based on the law as a judge, as well as for following the rule of law when acting as an attorney:

Ironically, Gableman and his well heeled supporters had referred disparagingly to some provisions of the Constitution and other statutory protections as “loopholes” and “technicalities.”

But apparently they come in mighty handy once you find yourself the respondent in a disciplinary proceeding.

I’ve written about this issue way back when for the Herald. Gableman is one of the most embarassing figures in the state of Wisconsin. We all have to keep a closer eye on him.

My biggest hope was that Louis Butler would volunteer to be his defense attorney. Maybe then he could get a chance ignore any potential “loopholes” and let Michael Gableman get the justice he deserves.