Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Judicial Recusal "Public Hearing" with Justices Shirley Abrahamson & Ann Walsh Bradley on Oct 24th in Madison




For Release: Wednesday - October 18, 2017


Why We Need Effective Judicial Recusal Rules in Wisconsin

Next Tuesday evening, October 24th, Common Cause in Wisconsin is holding the last of three town hall "public hearings" on judicial recusal. This event will take place from 6:30PM to 8:00PM in the Grand Hall at Capitol Lakes - 333 West Main Street, Madison, WI.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices Shirley Abrahamson and Ann Walsh Bradley will join former Dane County Circuit Court Judge Gerald Nichol as panelists. Nichol was the former Chair of the now-dissolved nonpartisan Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

Wisconsinites would be shocked to know that our state is among the four worst in the nation with regard to the strength of recusal rules for judges receiving campaign contributions. Our current state recusal "non-standard" essentially states that justices may decide for themselves whether to recuse in a case involving a party who contributed to them. It was written verbatim by conservative special interest groups in 2010!

This past April, the Wisconsin Supreme Court considered a petition by more than 50 retired Wisconsin judges to establish reasonable thresholds for recusal of judges at all levels when they receive campaign contributions from a defendant or plaintiff – or if they benefited from spending by an “outside” special interest group involved in a case before their court.

Incredibly, the State Supreme Court voted 5 to 2 to reject this petition, and the Court did so without a single public hearing.

With a Wisconsin Supreme Court election looming in early 2018 to replace retiring anti-recusal Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, it is critical that Wisconsinites fully understand and raise their voices about this issue – which will be prominent in that election.

For more on precisely why stronger recusal rules for judges are urgently needed in Wisconsin, read this excellent analysis by Mary Bottari of the Center for Media and Democracy.

The Capital Times published this editorial on the importance of these events as well.

Press coverage of the October 11th public hearing in Milwaukee is here.

Attend this free event to learn more about this vital issue, to ask questions, and to share your thoughts.

We hope you can attend, and bring a friend or two with you! Click here to RSVP.

Co-sponsoring this event with CC/WI are the the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Dane County, The Madison Institute, and the American Association of University Women-Wisconsin.

If you have any questions, please call the CC/WI office at 608/256-2686 or email me at ccwisjwh@itis.com. I look forward to seeing you in person on October 24th!




CONTACT:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)




Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Judicial Recusal Town Hall Public Hearing WEDNESDAY Night - Oct 11th - at Marquette Law School




For Release: Tuesday - October 10, 2017


Why We Need Effective Judicial Recusal Rules in Wisconsin

Please join our distinguished panel of legal experts and me tomorrow evening, October 11th, from 6:30 to 8pm at our Judicial Recusal Town Hall "Public Hearing" in Milwaukee.

This event is free and open to the public and will take place from 6:30PM to 8:00PM in the Marquette University Law School Appellate Courtroom (Main Level) - 1215 West Michigan Street, Milwaukee, WI.

Wisconsinites would be shocked to know that our state is among the four states with the weakest recusal rules for judges receiving campaign contributions. In fact, our current state recusal "non-standard" essentially states that justices may decide for themselves whether to recuse in a case involving a party who contributed to them. It was written verbatim by a conservative special interest group in 2010!

One of our Wednesday panelists, former Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Michael Skwierawski, explains why this is so problematic:

"Imagine you are a party to a court case and the party on the other side spent thousands of dollars to help elect the judge hearing your case. Would you be confident that you would receive your fair day in court?

"In Wisconsin, this is not just a hypothetical."

With a Wisconsin Supreme Court election coming up in early 2018 to replace retiring anti-recusal Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, it is imperative that Wisconsinites fully understand and raise their voices about this issue – which will be prominent in that election.

For more on precisely why stronger recusal rules for judges are urgently needed in Wisconsin, read this excellent analysis by Mary Bottari of the Center for Media and Democracy.

The Capital Times published this editorial last week on the importance of these events as well.

Please join us tomorrow night at this free event, where you will learn more about this vital issue, can ask questions, share your thoughts – and above all, make your voice heard.

We hope you can attend, and bring a friend or two with you! Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Co-sponsoring this event with CC/WI are the the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County and the American Association of University Women-Wisconsin.

If you have any questions, please call the CC/WI office at 608/256-2686 or email me at ccwisjwh@itis.com. I look forward to seeing you in person on October 11th!




CONTACT:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)




Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



Read More...


Thursday, October 5, 2017

CC/WI to Hold 2nd Judicial Recusal Town Hall Public Hearing: Oct 11th at Marquette Law School




For Release: Thursday - October 5, 2017


Why We Need Effective Judicial Recusal Rules in Wisconsin

Next Wednesday evening, October 11th, Common Cause in Wisconsin is holding its second town hall/public hearing entitled "Access to Justice." This event is free and open to the public, and will take place from 6:30PM to 8:00PM at Marquette University Law School in the Appellate Courtroom (Main Level) - 1215 W. Michigan St, Milwaukee, WI.

You should attend this event because Wisconsin is considered among the four worst states in the nation in terms of the strength of our recusal standards for judges receiving campaign contributions.

Wisconsin's current state recusal “non-standard” was written by ultra-conservative special interest group, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, in 2010. It essentially states that judges may decide for themselves whether to recuse in a case involving a donor or special interest group who contributed to them!

This past April, the Wisconsin Supreme Court discussed in “open conference" a petition by 54 retired Wisconsin judges to establish reasonable thresholds for recusal of judges at all levels when they receive campaign contributions from a defendant or plaintiff – or if they benefited from spending by an “outside” special interest group involved in a case before their court.

Incredibly, the State Supreme Court voted 5 to 2 to reject this petition, and the Court did so without any input from the public.

With a Wisconsin Supreme Court election coming up in early 2018 to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, it is imperative that Wisconsinites fully understand and raise their voices about this issue – which will be prominent in that election.

For more on precisely why stronger recusal rules for judges are urgently needed in Wisconsin, read this excellent analysis by Mary Bottari of the Center for Media and Democracy.

And then, please join me and my fellow panelists: former State Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler, former Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Michael Skwierawski, and Marquette Law Professor Ed Fallone at this free event to learn more about this vital issue. Ask questions, share your thoughts – and above all, make your voice heard.

We hope you can attend, and bring a friend or two with you! Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Co-sponsoring this event with CC/WI are the the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County and the American Association of University Women-Wisconsin.

If you have any questions, please call the CC/WI office at 608/256-2686 or email me at ccwisjwh@itis.com. I look forward to seeing you in person on October 11th!




CONTACT:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)




Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



Read More...


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

CC/WI to Hold Judicial Recusal Town Hall Public Hearing October 2nd at UW-Green Bay




For Release: Wednesday - September 27, 2017


Why We Need Effective Judicial Recusal Rules in Wisconsin

On Monday evening, October 2nd, Common Cause in Wisconsin is holding a town hall public hearing entitled "Access to Justice" from 6:30PM to 8:00PM at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay in the University Union (Christie Theater) - 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay, WI.

Similar public hearings will be held later in October in Milwaukee and in Madison.

You should attend this event because Wisconsin is considered among the four worst states in the nation in terms of the strength of our recusal standards for judges receiving campaign contributions.

Wisconsin's current state recusal “non-standard” was written by ultra-conservative special interest group, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, in 2010. It essentially states that judges may decide for themselves whether to recuse in a case involving a donor or special interest group who contributed to them!

This past April, the Wisconsin Supreme Court discussed in “open conference" a petition by 54 retired Wisconsin judges to establish reasonable thresholds for recusal of judges at all levels when they receive campaign contributions from a defendant or plaintiff – or if they benefited from spending by an “outside” special interest group involved in a case before their court.

Incredibly, the State Supreme Court voted 5 to 2 to reject this petition, and the Court did so without any input from the public.

With a Wisconsin Supreme Court election coming up in early 2018 to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, it is imperative that Wisconsinites fully understand and raise their voices about this issue – which will be prominent in that election.

Please join me and my fellow panelists: former State Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske and former Manitowoc County Circuit Court Judge Patrick Willis at this free event to learn more about this vital issue. Ask questions, share your thoughts – and above all, make your voice heard.

We hope you can attend, and bring a friend or two with you! Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Co-sponsoring this event with CC/WI are the UW - Green Bay Political Science Department, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Greater Green Bay and the American Association of University Women-Wisconsin.

If you have any questions, please call the CC/WI office at 608/256-2686 or email me at ccwisjwh@itis.com. I look forward to seeing you in person on October 2nd!




CONTACT:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)




Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



Read More...