Monday, March 30, 2009

She calls them as she sees them

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson may claim to be devoid of a judicial philosophy but she has the power to see the future.

...the release came out more than four hours before Abrahamson debates challenger Randy Koschnick, a Jefferson County Circuit Court judge. (The release was sent to reporters at 2:30 but embargoed from release until 8 p.m., after the televised We the People/Wisconsin debate).

Not only did Abrahamson know what she was going to say, she knew what her opponent would say.

Koschnick "again used partisan and divisive tactics to mislead voters about Justice Abrahamson's record," the release said.

But when she's looking at the present, it's liberal as hell.

When asked about her record of voting with criminal defendants, Abrahamson stated at a debate, “You call them like you see them.” Let’s take a look at how she sees them.

Of special interest to Waukesha voters, in 1995 Abrahamson was the lone vote against the law that keeps sexual predators behind bars if it’s determined they continue to be a threat to the public. Think we have too many sexual predators moving to Waukesha now, think how many more would be let loose if she had had her way. Yet she criticized her colleagues, calling their decision “dangerous.”

Abrahamson voted to make it more difficult for police to ask for permission to search a vehicle during a stop for a traffic violation. Abrahamson helped create the requirement that all juvenile confessions must be videotaped, despite the Legislature never passing a law to require it.

On other issues she likes to call them as she sees them, too, regardless of the laws created by the Legislature.

On school voucher programs, Abrahamson has been a reliable vote for the teachers unions, voting to strike the voucher programs down.

On medical malpractice, Abrahamson sided with the trial lawyers and voted to raise the caps, again contrary to the law and contrary to the public interest. And in the infamous lead paint case, Abrahamson voted for the plaintiff, saying he did not have to prove who manufactured the lead-based paint that poisoned him. The plaintiff would be allowed to sue all the companies that made lead paint.

So even if we accept the Chief Justice at her word that judicial activism is just a made up term, applying the Abrahamson standard voters should send her (finally) to retirement.