Later this year, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will be hearing three cases regarding the John Doe investigation into the illegal collaboration between Scott Walker, his campaign and dark money special interest groups, like the Wisconsin Club for Growth.
In advance of the hearings, the Supreme Court are considering some unusual maneuvers:
In a highly unusual move, the state Supreme Court is considering holding all or part of its oral arguments in secret in a case focused on whether Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and conservative groups illegally worked together in recall elections.
In a five-page order issued late Wednesday, the court told attorneys involved in the case to file briefs next week spelling out whether they believe the public should be prohibited from attending all or part of the arguments on April 17 and 20. The court also wants the attorneys to weigh in on whether to allow live television coverage of the arguments, as has been happening for years for all of the high court's cases.
The court indicated it was considering recording the arguments that would be released later, after portions were excised from them.
The court is contemplating such unusual steps because the three cases it is considering are tied to an investigation that is supposed to be secret. The probe has been stalled for more than a year because the judge overseeing it determined the activities in question were not illegal.
The high court is considering a request by a special prosecutor to reinstate subpoenas that have been blocked and two challenges from those caught up in the probe asking to end the investigation for good.
They're claiming that they want the proceedings to be secret and will only release a highly redacted version to come out later. One can't help but wonder if that "later" is only after the fate of Walker's presidential bid has been determined.
One also must wonder if they are being honest about their rationale. It could be very well likely that the reason for their desire for keeping John Doe hushed up is that four of the seven justices owe their seats to the very same special interests that are involved in the investigation:
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The Wisconsin Club for Growth has run ads over the years that have helped put or keep four justices on the Supreme Court. It is estimated to have spent $400,000 for Annette Ziegler in 2007; $507,000 for Michael Gableman in 2008; $520,000 for David Prosser in 2011; and $350,000 for Patience Roggensack in 2013.
Special prosecutor Francis Schmitz has asked one or more of the justices to step aside from the John Doe cases, presumably because of that spending.
This week, six law professors from around the country filed a friend-of-the-court brief saying some of the justices may be barred from participating in the case under ethical rules.
A 2009 U.S. Spreme Court decision "clearly established that under the U.S. Constitution, significant independent expenditures in a judicial election require recusal under circumstances where there is a serious risk of bias," they wrote in the brief submitted by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.
Yeah, based on the past behaviors of these supreme injustices, I wouldn't recommend holding your breath waiting for this kangaroo court to do anything ethical.