Louis Butler: Flat-Out Lying About His Judicial Philosophy
But it was brought home to us (literally) when we received a mailer from liberal Justice Louis Butler, who is running for election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Here is the flyer.
The most absurd, and most dishonest, passage is this:
His judicial philosophy is simple -- uphold the Constitution and hold wrongdoers accountable. That means not substituting his judgment for the Constitution or state statutes, and not forming an opinion about how he’ll rule until he has heard all of the facts.In other words, it’s promising to be a judge radically different from the Louis Butler who is now serving on the court.
As Jessica McBride has shown, Butler has been vastly more likely to side with a criminal defendant that the conservative members of the Court. Jessica McBride’s analysis shows this, and while liberals have tried to knock down McBrides numbers -- claiming that Butler sided with the defendant less than the 57% of the time that McBride shows. It’s possible, of course, to debate these numbers endlessly. In fact, you can see them debated endlessly on Rick Esenberg’s blog.
But the bottom line is this: McBride’s numbers are the most plausible around, and any set of numbers you use shows that Butler is firmly among the Court’s liberal majority with its usual sympathy for criminals.
On other issues, see excellent analysis here, and here and here. Butler has not hesitated to substitute his policy preferences for established Constitutional doctrine or for the judgment of the legislature.
It’s terribly revealing that he does this. Americans simply don’t like activist judges, and thus Butler and other supporters of judicial activism have to dissemble.