Wisconsin may be 1st US state to completely end justice

Protest beyond the law, ZinnMonied interests in Wisconsin have been systematically working to eradicate justice in their courts in order to make it legal for court decisions to be bought by the mighty and the monied. By pushing through a change in this spring’s election to the way the state’s Supreme Court Chief Justice is selected, Wisconsin conservatives may have finally reached the tipping point they’ve been working towards for several years.

They’ve made it legal for money to buy court decisions and for court oversight to be removed – accomplishments they were able to make law because America is not voting, and we don’t seem to know what democracy means.

Here’s the history of the tragic devolution of justice in Wisconsin:
“Walker and his friends are setting out to create a court they can bend to their will” spending $5.5 million since 2007 to secure a conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. (source: HuffPost)

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker faces recall charges for illegally colluding with outside groups to win his campaign – colluding most notably, with Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC). The Supreme Court of Wisconsin will hear the recall charges, which is why WMC is working so hard to make the formerly illegal, now legal. They spent $600,000 in this spring’s Wisconsin election to promote a change in the way the state’s Chief Justice has been selected for 126 years … a change which could lead to nationally recognized champion of justice Shirley Abrahamson losing her powerful position as Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice. Abrahamson is suing for the right to remain in place as Chief Justice for the rest of her elected 4-year term.

Other mechanisms being used to eliminate justice from the state’s legal system:

  • Refusal to fulfill an imporant court vacancy: Wisconsin Republican US Senator Ron Johnson has been “blocking efforts to fill a key vacancy on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals” that has been open for more than five years.
  • Force Shirley Abrahamson off the bench entirely by getting the retirement age for Supreme Court judges lowered to 75. Judge Abrahamson, who is serving the four year term the people of Wisconsin elected her to serve, is 81 years young.
  • Several Supreme Court rules governing court ethics were written by WMC and have become state law:
    • ‘Make conflict-of interest legal’ Measure #1:
      Conservatives have made it legal in Wisconsin for judges to hear cases in which the interested parties have donated to judges’ election campaigns. This means that judges no longer need to ensure that their opinions have not been influenced by campaign donations; and they don’t need to recuse themselves from trials and hearings where a party, or both parties, have contributed to judges’ election campaigns. This makes it perfectly OK for influence pandering to take place by means of financial donations.
    • ‘Make conflict-of interest legal’ Measure #2:
      A contribution to a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice’s election campaign can be made at any time – even during the days that Justices are hearing a case in which campaign donors have a legal interest.
    • Decisions and deliberations will be made in secret. HuffPost: “…in an unprecedented move, the conservative majority decided that there will be no oral arguments. The justices will meet and decide in secret.”
  • Other changes governing judicial procedures have been made by Gov Walker by means of his executive budget (source: AFJ)
    • Walker disbanded the “independent council that advises all branches of state government on court practice and procedure.”
    • And he “…(weakened) the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, the state body charged with investigating judicial ethics violations and recommending discipline.”

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