How many citizens know about the Wisconsin Supreme Court's recent overused practice of accepting petitions from favored litigants to fast-track the legal process? The legal procedure is called "original jurisdiction," which allows the court to determine the constitutionality of an important statute or issue of great public concern when there are no disputed issues of fact.
Enter the conservative Wisconsin Institute of Law & Liberty, inundating the court with these petitions. The most egregious the court accepted was Johnson v. Wisconsin Elections Commission with many disputed facts, resulting in a decision that ultimately adopted the Legislature's highly partisan maps. Without an adversarial trial to provide a record of facts, the court accepted WILL's petition, resulting in one of the most gerrymandered maps in the nation.
People are also reading…
Further, the court accepted other such petitions from WILL and ruled favorably on behalf of religious organizations, Christian schools and parents. This resulted in the curtailment of Gov. Tony Evers' administration from enforcing much-needed COVID restrictions for our public health and safety.
The Supreme Court's partisan acceptance of original jurisdiction for favored petitioners needs to stop. We need to elect a justice who insists on transparent, nonpartisan procedures and rulings to restore the tarnished image of our court.
Joan Schwarz, Madison, attorney