Tag: judge

Neil Gorsuch plagiarized multiple authors in book and academic article

Senate Republicans intend to change the rules of the Senate in order to confirm a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) for this guy:

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch copied the structure and language used by several authors and failed to cite source material in his book and an academic article, according to documents provided to POLITICO.

The documents show that several passages from the tenth chapter of his 2006 book, “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” read nearly verbatim to a 1984 article in the Indiana Law Journal. In several other instances in that book and an academic article published in 2000, Gorsuch borrowed from the ideas, quotes and structures of scholarly and legal works without citing them.

[…]

…six experts on academic integrity contacted independently by POLITICO differed in their assessment of what Gorsuch did, ranging from calling it a clear impropriety to mere sloppiness.

You read that correctly. Neil Gorsuch, who is likely to be confirmed to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia, plagiarized other people’s writings on more than one occasion. Gorsuch isn’t just too ideologically extreme for our nation’s highest bench. He’s too unethical for our nation’s highest bench.

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Joni Ernst sends virtually blank response to constituent’s request not to block SCOTUS appointment

Sometime in the immediate future, President Barack Obama will appoint someone to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) created by the death of Antonin Scalia.

One of the many Republican U.S. Senators who support obstructing anyone that the president appoints to the Supreme Court is Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA). Many of Ernst’s constituents in Iowa are not happy at all that Ernst wants the U.S. Senate to neglect its duty to either confirm or reject whoever the president appoints to SCOTUS, and one of them is Maggie White, who is a civil rights attorney from Iowa’s largest city, Des Moines. When White emailed Ernst’s office about Ernst and her fellow Senate Republicans wanting to do absolutely nothing in regards to the president’s SCOTUS pick, White did a very important civic duty by contacting Ernst’s office about the matter. Here’s how Ernst responded to White:

Joni Ernst sent one of her constituents a virtually blank response to a message that one of her constituents sent to her! By “virtually blank response”, I mean that Ernst’s response to Maggie White’s message contained a letterhead, a salutation, and a closing, not a body. The body of the email, which there is none in this particular email, is where Ernst’s response to White’s message would have been.

The U.S. Constitution is clear. The president must appoint a new SCOTUS justice, the Senate must either confirm or reject that appointment. For the Senate to not even conduct a confirmation process amounts to the Senate neglecting its Constitutional duty of advice and consent. It doesn’t take a lawyer to figure that out.

Rebecca Bradley: Neglecting her duty and saying that LGBT people should get AIDS

Scott Walker-appointed Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of America’s worst judges.

First off, Bradley is completely neglecting her duties as a state supreme court justice. In one instance, Bradley left the state supreme court chamber while the court was hearing oral arguments in a case before Wisconsin’s highest court to attend an event hosted by a right-wing political organization:

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley cut out of oral arguments last week so she could give a political speech to the state’s chamber of commerce — a group that has spent heavily in the past backing conservative candidates.

Bradley refused an interview request, but a spokeswoman for her argued it was routine for justices to leave arguments early. So far, her campaign has not been able to cite an instance of another justice stepping out of arguments for campaign reasons.

[…]

(Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine) Geske, who served on the court from 1993 to 1998, said (to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) justices rarely left arguments early while she was on the bench.

If a justice leaves a state supreme court chamber, it better be for a good reason, such as illness, illness or death in the family, or something along those lines. What Rebecca Bradley did was the moral equivalent of a child staying home from school so that the child could play in the sandbox at home. If the people of Wisconsin don’t tolerate schoolchildren being truant from school, they shouldn’t re-elect a truant state supreme court justice.

Earlier today, the progressive group One Wisconsin Now uncovered multiple newspaper columns that Bradley wrote for the Marquette Tribune, a Marquette University student newspaper, in which Bradley, among other things, referred to LGBT people as “queers” and claimed that people who contract AIDS are effectively committing suicide:

Newly appointed state Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley in student newspaper columns 24 years ago said she had no sympathy for AIDS patients because they had effectively chosen to kill themselves, called gays “queers” and said Americans were “either totally stupid or entirely evil” for electing President Bill Clinton.

In one column, she wrote people were better off getting AIDS than cancer because it would get more funding.

“How sad that the lives of degenerate drug addicts and queers are valued more than the innocent victims of more prevalent ailments,” she wrote.

You can read more about the Bradley columns here.

The truth of the matter is that not all people who are affected by HIV and AIDS are homosexual, in fact, former NASCAR driver Tim Richmond, who was heterosexual, died as a result of AIDS three years before Bradley wrote those columns. Furthermore, hurling hate speech at LGBT people is a form of bigotry, and that is absolutely unacceptable. Regarding her remarks about Bill Clinton, claiming that Clinton burned the American flag is, to my knowledge, absolutely false.

Bradley’s remarks about LGBT people in 1992 are eerily similar to homophobic remarks that Michael Savage made on an MSNBC program in 2003:

If MSNBC could fire Michael Savage for making homophobic remarks about a prank phone caller, then the people of Wisconsin should fire Rebecca Bradley for making homophobic remarks about LGBT people. The people of Wisconsin will have that opportunity on April 5, and Bradley’s opponent is JoAnne Kloppenburg.

Nation Consulting employee ADMITS that Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Joe Donald blindly backs incumbents

Remember when I wrote about Nation Consulting founder Thad Nation also being the head of a political front group that donated thousands of dollars to several right-wing political organizations? That was during last year’s race for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) chair, and Nation Consulting employee Jason Rae got trounced in that race.

Now, Nation Consulting employee Andy Suchorski is the campaign manager for Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Joe Donald, and Suchorski is doing Donald’s campaign no favors by admitting the truth on why Donald backs far-right Republican judges:

“Joe usually, unless he has a serious problem with the person, usually supports the incumbents. Left, right, doesn’t matter,” Suchorski said. “That was primarily it: as a fellow incumbent judge, he supported her.”

Suchorski said when (Rebecca) Bradley asked Donald to be a reference for her 2015 application, from his perspective, it was like an employee asking a boss for a reference for another job. Donald was the presiding judge on the Milwaukee County children’s court during the time Bradley was assigned to it.

The fact that Rebecca Bradley views her job as a judge as serving Scott Walker and his far-right political network and agenda (she won’t say this in public, but she does) wasn’t viewed by Joe Donald as a serious problem gives you a general idea of how awful Donald is. Thanks to people like Scott Walker and Joe Donald, Bradley is now a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, serving Walker and his far-right political agenda.

There are three distinct candidates for Wisconsin Supreme Court. One of them, Bradley, wants to serve Scott Walker and his far-right political agenda for the next ten years. Another one of them, Donald, wants to serve a political old boys network in Milwaukee that props up corporate-minded politicians at nearly every opportunity. The other candidate, JoAnne Kloppenburg, wants to actually do the job of a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice by interpreting the law and serving the people of Wisconsin. I strongly encourage Wisconsinites to vote for Kloppenburg in the February 16 non-partisan primary.

ENDORSEMENT: JoAnne Kloppenburg for Wisconsin Supreme Court

Early next year, there will be an election to determine who will be elected to the seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court that was held by Justice Patrick Crooks prior to his death earlier this month. I whole-heartedly endorse JoAnne Kloppenburg, a Wisconsin Court of Appeals judge, for the seat.

Since this seat is vacant, but up for election early next year, Republican Governor Scott Walker will appoint someone to the seat, and that individual will serve the remainder of Crooks’s term. Next year’s election is for a full ten-year term, and I am endorsing Kloppenburg for the election to a full ten-year term. I would encourage Walker to appoint Former Wisconsin State Representative Kelda Roys to the Wisconsin Supreme Court seat, but Walker isn’t going to appoint her or anyone else who is not a full-blown right-wing ideologue.

Prior to becoming an appellate court judge, Kloppenburg served as a Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General under both Democratic (Peg Lautenschlager) and Republican (J.B. Van Hollen) state attorneys general, and she now serves as a state appellate court judge in Wisconsin Court of Appeals District IV, which covers 24 counties (map here) in the south-central, southwestern, and central parts of Wisconsin. If elected to Wisconsin’s highest bench, she’ll be an impartial interpreter of Wisconsin’s constitution and laws, not a judicial activist of any kind.

Walker will most likely appoint Rebecca Bradley, a Wisconsin Court of Appeals judge from the Milwaukee area, to the vacant seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Bradley was running for the seat prior to Crooks’s death and is still running for the seat. Bradley has earned a reputation as a far-right judicial activist. Bradley was once the president of the Milwaukee chapter of the Federalist Society, an organization of far-right judicial activists who believe in using the courts to implement a far-right political agenda that would cost America millions of jobs and undermine the civil liberties of the American people. Furthermore, Bradley is a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA), an organization that, among other things, supports voter suppression schemes designed to keep people from exercising their right to vote.

The third candidate in next year’s Wisconsin Supreme Court race is Joe Donald, a Milwaukee County circuit court judge, who, if elected to Wisconsin’s highest bench, would become the first elected black justice, and second black justice overall, on Wisconsin’s highest bench. While Donald has endorsements from some progressives, most notably Marquette University law professor Ed Fallone, he’s accepted campaign cash from Peter Barca, the Wisconsin State Assembly Democratic Leader who supported Scott Walker’s corporate welfare giveaway to the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. Judges should be as independent as possible from state legislators and other elected officials, not accepting campaign cash from them.

If you’re a Wisconsinite who wants an actual justice who will interpret Wisconsin’s constitution and laws in a non-partisan manner, then vote for JoAnne Kloppenburg next spring! The non-partisan primary, provided that at least three candidates make the ballot (three candidates are currently campaigning for the seat), will be held in February of 2016, and the general election will be held in April of 2016.

Apparent illegal coordination between one or more conservatives on the Wisconsin Supreme Court bench and right-wing groups

The progressive website ThinkProgress is reporting that one or more of the four conservative justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court have been involved in illegal coordination between their official campaign organizations and right-wing political organizations, according to a legal brief filed by Francis Schmitz, the special prosecutor in the John Doe II investigation into violations of campaign finance laws by Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. The name(s) of the justice(s) involved in the illegal coordination, the political groups involved in the illegal coordination, and the names of other individuals implicated were redacted because of Wisconsin state laws that govern John Doe investigations prohibiting the disclosure of identities until and unless charges are filed. Schmitz has asked for two of the justices to recuse themselves from the case, but the identities of those justices were redacted in the publicly-available version of the brief.

This development comes at the same time that the Wisconsin Supreme Court is hearing a case in which the conservative majority on the bench will probably decide to strike down the John Doe II probe, which is a flagrant conflict of interest, given that all four of the conservatives on the Wisconsin Supreme Court bench have benefited from money spent by right-wing groups that are implicated in the investigation. However, none of the four conservatives have shown any indication that they will recuse themselves from the case. Personally, I believe that all four of the conservatives on the Wisconsin Supreme Court bench, David Prosser, Michael Gableman, Patience Roggensack, and Annette Ziegler, should recuse themselves from all cases involving the John Doe II probe that are brought before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Scott Walker has a problem with Christians

Wisconsin Governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker put his foot in his mouth yet again when he claimed that he didn’t know whether or not President Barack Obama was a Christian: