Wisconsin Supreme Court shuts down John Doe investigation
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Thread: Wisconsin Supreme Court shuts down John Doe investigation

  1. #1
    Ancient Gaseous Emanation Popeye's Avatar
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    Default Wisconsin Supreme Court shuts down John Doe investigation

    Eric Boehm
    July 16, 2015


    The Supreme Court of Wisconsin killed John Doe.

    In [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], the high court ordered an end to the politically motivated investigation into conservative groups in Wisconsin that has been dragging on for more than three years.

    Writing for the majority on the court, Justice Michael Gableman slammed the use of a special prosecutor by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office and praised the unnamed plaintiffs in the case before the court, who were pushing back against what they claimed was an unconstitutional violation of their First Amendment rights to political speech.

    “It is utterly clear that the special prosecutor has employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing,” Gableman wrote in the opinion. “In other words, the special prosecutor was the instigator of a ‘perfect storm’ of wrongs.”

    The John Doe investigation began as a probe into conservative groups and donors who backed Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign during the recall election of 2012. Investigators were seeking to prove those groups, most notably the Wisconsin Club for Growth, had coordinated with Walker’s campaign, which would be a violation of state campaign finance law.

    The individuals under investigation had their homes and offices raided by law enforcement and were subject to a gag order that prevented them from speaking out.

    But Gableman, in the ruling issued Thursday, praised them for fighting back through the legal system.

    “It is fortunate, indeed, for every other citizen of this great State who is interested in the protection of fundamental liberties that the special prosecutor chose as his targets innocent citizens who had both the will and the means to fight the unlimited resources of an unjust prosecution,” he wrote. “Further, these brave individuals played a crucial role in presenting this court with an opportunity to re-endorse its commitment to upholding the fundamental right of each and every citizen to engage in lawful political activity and to do so free from the fear of the tyrannical retribution of arbitrary or capricious governmental prosecution.”

    The final ruling from the seven-member court was 4-2, with Justice Ann Walsh Bradley not participating in the decision.

    In her dissenting opinion, Justice Shirley Abrahamson said the conclusion reached by the majority disregards both the letter and the spirit of Wisconsin’s campaign finance law.

    “The majority opinion adopts an unprecedented and faulty interpretation of Wisconsin’s campaign finance law and of the First Amendment,” she wrote. “In doing so, the majority opinion delivers a significant blow to Wisconsin’s campaign finance law.”




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    The Milwaukee County District Attorney needs to be stripped of his license to practice law and banned from ever holding public office again, then tossed in jail for a decade or two.
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