At the beginning of the month, I reported that the Wisconsin Supreme Court was taking the unusual steps of considering making the oral arguments regarding the upcoming John Doe hearings secret. The John Doe investigation is regarding the illegal collaboration between Scott Walker, his campaign and dark money special interest groups such as Wisconsin Club for Growth.
On Friday, the Supreme Court went from unusual to disturbingly bizarre by deciding that they won't hear any oral arguments (emphasis mine):
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Friday it would not hear arguments — in secret or in public — as it considers whether to allow an investigation to continue that has looked into whether Gov. Scott Walker's campaign illegally worked with conservative groups in recall elections.The Court also ruled against allowing the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from intervening in the hearings, locking down the secrecy even more.
"The prospect of oral argument creates severe tension between important and conflicting priorities," the court wrote, citing the long tradition of open courts and the secrecy of the John Doe.
Instead, the court will decide the matter based on hundreds of pages of briefs that have been filed in the cases, mostly in secret, because the court also rejected a special prosecutor's argument that the secrecy genie has already largely escaped the bottle.
The investigation has been stalled for more than a year, and the court's decision is expected to determine whether it can be revived or shut down for good. Its ruling will likely come by this summer, just as the Republican governor ramps up an expected bid for the presidency.
The Court claims that oral arguments would cause conflict between open courts and the secrecy of the Doe investigation. In reality, the conflict for them is between upholding the law and their indebtedness to the very same special interests involved in the cases.
The fact is that the Wisconsin Supreme Court shouldn't even be issuing orders regarding these cases at all.
As previously reported, four of the seven justices on the bench have received heavy support from these dark money special interest groups. So heavy that the special interest groups spent three out of every four dollars in the elections of David Prosser alone.
The United States Supreme Court has already ruled that judges and justices need to recuse themselves "when an interested party’s spending had a “disproportionate influence” in a case that was “pending or imminent.”'
It is more than obvious that this ruling would apply to the four corporate justice on the state supreme court. Why these justices are committing these injustices - and getting away with it - is beyond understanding.