Justice David Prosser’s Perfect Political Storm

Meteorologists might term the confluence of upper winds, warm temperatures, and a ready supply of moisture all churning relentlessly under just the right conditions for days as the ‘perfect storm’.  The phenomenon is rare, but when it happens all eyes follow the developments and are amazed at the outcome.

Politicos around Wisconsin can now also rightly term the events swirling around the reelection efforts of David Prosser as the ‘perfect political storm’.  It would be nigh impossible to have predicted the scenario that now awaits the state and his candidacy.

News broke on Thursday afternoon that the Wisconsin Court of Appeals declined to rule on Dane County Judge Sumi’s order stopping the publication of  the controversial collective bargaining law which passed the Legislature and was signed by Governor Walker.  That means the legal matter will likely wind up before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

No one could have predicted back on February 11th when Walker announced his budget repair bill  that all the anger and weeks of high emotion that have captivated this state would directly land in the lap of Justice David Prosser.

But that is exactly what has happened.

In a perfect world there would be merit selection for judges, as this blog has long advocated, and the political dynamics of collective bargaining would not be a  factor in this spring’s election.  David Prosser would not be in search of an  impenetrable seawall. 

In the ideal situation, even after all the facts that have presented themselves over the past five weeks are laid bare, voters would still look at the larger judicial scope of the candidates and not base their vote solely on the collective bargaining bill.

I fully understand I may have alienated some readers with that last line.

But hear me out.

As much as I do not favor electing judges, I also do not care for the ‘lets take our disgust of Governor Walker out on David Prosser’.  That seems intellectually lazy to me.  I get the anger part of why people are making the connection, but I find it unsettling.

I want to think that most voters are deeper than that.

There are many reasons to cast a solid vote against Prosser, and never even think about Walker.  That would be the sensible and rationale way to approach this election.

I was prepared long before Walker was even sworn into office to cast a vote opposing Prosser based on his lack of holding Michael Gableman to a higher level of responsibility for conduct, Prosser’s strict conservative philosophy, and his lack of appreciation for the crimes that Scott Jensen committed while serving in the State Legislature.

Lashing out at Governor Walker seems like a weak reason to cast a ballot against Prosser.

But these are not times when quiet reflection gets headlines.  The frothy debate and unconstitutional actions and disregard for the honored processes at the Capitol have made for frayed nerves and lots of anger.

I get that. 

I was, and still am, very upset with how this entire collective bargaining mess played out. 

One thing is clear, no matter how I feel about how others should reason their way through a series of issues before finally deciding on who to vote for in the Supreme Court race.

The thing we can all agree on is that there is a storm packing high winds that very well could change the landscape of the Supreme Court.

That is the political reality that David Prosser faces on April 5th.

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