Monday, January 14, 2008

Justice Louis Butler: Judicial Activist

Via GOP3.COM, and excellent piece of analysis from Daniel Suhr of the “jurisprudence” of Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler, who is running for reelection.

Suhr reviews several controversial cases, and finds Butler acting more like a liberal legislator than a judge.

He sums up the case for Butler’s judicial activism thus, and lists the cases where we see it:
Arrogance Over Deference

Justice Butler often substitutes his own judgment for that of another institution when that institution is entitled by law to deference.
Failure to defer to the trial court – Love, Armstrong, Dubose, Shomberg

Failure to defer to the legislature – Trujillo, Kohn, Diana P., Max G.W., Kolupar

Failure to defer to the U.S. Supreme Court – Knapp, Dubose, McGrew

Failure to defer to a government agency – Johnson, Meyers, Szleszinski

Overturning Precedent

Justice Butler often fails to show appropriate respect for the Court’s decisions in past cases. Trujillo, Knapp, Dairyland, Bartholomew

Acting Like a Legislator

Justice Butler often fails to respect the constitutional and practical limitations of the judicial office.

Extensive citations to non-legal authorities – Dubose, Shomberg, Thomas

Moral outrage substituted for sound legal reasoning – Thomas, Jones
The election is going to be a real donnybrook, which Butler being supported by a range of interests who like his legislation.

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3 Comments:

Blogger John Foust said...

Do you think Daniel's footnotes reveal a breadth and depth of research? Or was he pointed at the bushes and told where to hunt?

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

John,

Conservatives actually know how to do research on their own, though if I were Daniel I would take your accusation that someone higher up fed him something as a compliment.

Don't feel bitter because you're not up to the same type of research.

9:16 PM  
Blogger John Foust said...

Brian, even Rick didn't defend Daniel as vigorously as you just did.

1:26 PM  

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