Report: WI Justice Suspected of Violating Campaign Finance Law

Wisconsin_flag_mapAs the fractured Wisconsin Supreme Court continues to be in the media spotlight, it has been reported that one of its justices — who is unnamed — is suspected by prosecutors of having violated campaign finance law by coordinating his or her campaign with independent groups.

Mother Jones mentioned the allegation based on redacted documents in legal proceedings. The documents were filed by a special prosecutor seeking to get at least two justices to step aside from hearing challenges to a campaign finance investigation (see Gavel Grab). The investigation has examined whether the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker worked illegally with conservative groups backing him when recall elections were held in 2011 and 2012.

The Mother Jones article was headlined, “How Scott Walker and His Allies Hijacked the Wisconsin Supreme Court.” It recaps the recent history of politics and big-money elections for the high court, and a new fight over who should hold the title of chief justice, following a voter-approved referendum.

“It’s like watching a slow-moving car wreck,” Rick Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California-Irvine, told Mother Jones. “I can’t think of another court where we’ve seen anything like this.”

The Associated Press reported, meanwhile, “Emails show clashes continue on Wisconsin Supreme Court.” A Madison.com editorial said, “Judicial Commission should probe Pat Roggensack’s power grab.”