Den mother of the speech police
Matt Kittle for MacIver News adds some much-needed balance to the saccharine idolatry showered on retiring Wisconsin supreme court Justice Shirley Abrahamson, champion of the regulatory state and den mother of the speech police.
Most particularly embarrassing is Judy Davidoff’s hagiography in Isthmus. Encomiums from John Nichols, Jim Doyle, Tony Evers, and the Notorious RBG.
Kittle notes that Abrahamson’s fingerprints are all over the so-called “John Doe II” investigation, a politically charged probe into dozens of conservative organizations launched by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a highly partisan Democrat.
It was Abrahamson who appointed the original judge overseeing the Doe. Judge Barbara Kluka approved scores of subpoenas on the same day she was conducting a jury trial. She was eventually relieved of her duties in favor of Judge Gregory Peterson who ordered a halt to the implementation of further search warrants — the first of four courts to put a stop to John Doe 2.
“The John Doe was despicable and indefensible. I think those are (Abrahamson’s) defining traits in that case. We had regular citizens whose homes had been raided, whose property had been taken, and for what? Because someone alleged there was a campaign finance law they didn’t like?”
— former state legislator Adam Jarchow.
In 2015, the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative majority declared the probe, launched in August 2012, unconstitutional. The ruling, written by Justice Michael Gableman, noted that the government officials involved, “Instigated a ‘perfect storm of wrongs,’” on people who were “wholly innocent of any wrongdoing.”
Abrahamson wrote the dissenting opinion, asserting the “majority opinion adopts an unprecedented and faulty interpretation of Wisconsin’s campaign finance law and of the First Amendment.” …
The justice’s defense of Wisconsin’s “labyrinthian” campaign finance laws was not shared by multiple courts, including a previous federal court decision. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diane Sykes described Wisconsin’s campaign finance system as a “dizzying array of statutes and rules” that are “labyrinthian and difficult to decipher.”
Money IS speech, folks. (Just as money is transportation, shelter, and food.) If journalists like Nichols and Davidoff won’t give you a fair shake, you’ve got to buy your own media.
What Matt Kittle does not report is that Shirley has been the source of discord for virtually her entire 30-year tenure. Even former Democrats like the late Bill Bablitch, an associate justice, said so.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: There is justice, after all. Shirley Abrahamson will be replaced by Brian Hagedorn, who won election despite being deserted by the usual conservative heavy hitters. Truly, a people’s victory.