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Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: Wisconsin Supreme Court Overturns Judge Sumi

June 14, 2011

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: Wisconsin Supreme Court Overturns Judge Sumi.

Ooof!

I think this is the most telling aspect:

“It is one thing for a court to rule on the validity of a law, but quite another thing for a court to stop the legislature from making law. Judge Sumi gives short shrift (at pp. 13-14) to the key Wisconsin case which says courts must await a law coming into effect before ruling on the law, Goodland v. Zimmerman. Judge Sumi summarily dismisses the import of Goodland by stating that it was a pre-Open Meetings law ruling. Well, chronologically yes, but the principle is the same; courts rule on legislation, courts do not stop legislation from being made.

Exactly. Courts rule on LEGISLATION that becomes law. They don’t stop the bills from becoming laws. Once they become laws, THEN the courts get to rule on them, based on the harm they might have caused a complainant.

Heh.

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7 Comments
  1. Michael permalink
    June 15, 2011 8:57 am

    Is this a surprise to you, Craig?? Come on, everyone knew that the (conservative) WI SC was going to rule this way, no matter what reason they decided to come up with. You know it, I know it.

    But the “telling aspect” is wrong. When a law is “passed” illegally, such as happened in WI, or in another example, with Eric Cantor’s “If the House passes a bill, and the Senate doesn’t act on it, it will become a law” crap, the Court is ABSOLUTELY in its jurisdiction to strike it down, even before it is enacted. If a law is passed that all males are to be rounded up and put in cages, by your logic, a court would have to wait until people are locked up to start considering the issue. FALSE.

    You know what else is going on in WI? Recalls. Not of the Democrats that left the state to get publicity for the way the Republicans were acting, but for the Republicans that railroaded the bill, used false statements in doing so, etc.

    “So far, petitions have been filed to recall six Republicans and three target Democrats. Three recall committees targeting Democrats failed to collect enough signatures.”

    http://www.businessinsider.com/wisconsin-union-battle-creates-tsunami-of-recall-campaigns-2011-4

    Double Heh. Win the battle, but lose the war. Kind of like Congressional Republicans and the debt ceiling issue…

  2. June 15, 2011 9:09 am

    Mike. Apparently you don’t understand how the law works. The court can’t rule on a law UNTIL IT BECOMES A LAW. They can’t just put down a restraining order against the legislature? So much for separation of powers…. (but to a progressive, those separation of powers are more suggestions than anything else…) allowing the court to bar the legislature from doing its job of writing and passing laws. Once the bill was signed into law, THEN the court can go and look at whether it was passed legally, and whether it violates any person’s rights. You can’t do it BEFORE. It makes. No. Sense.

    But then again, you when you really FEEL that a law is BAD, then the ends justify the means.

    And Cantor’s little act about claiming the House can pass a law without any Senate action, did he actually attempt to do it? Can you point to any law that was passed in such a manner? Or was it more political posturing and chest-beating….

    And Mike your example:

    “If a law is passed that all males are to be rounded up and put in cages, by your logic, a court would have to wait until people are locked up to start considering the issue. FALSE. ”

    Actually Mike, that is exactly what happens. Which is why I’m wondering why the California Supreme Court didn’t strike down Prop 8 while it was still on the ballot? Or any other law or proposition the Courts don’t step in BEFORE it becomes law because someone opposes it.

    Silliest damn thing I’ve ever heard. Ofcourse, progressives like the Courts to come in and rule via judicial fiat, declaring laws illegal/unconstitutional before they’ve even become laws…

  3. Michael Eaton permalink
    June 16, 2011 9:16 am

    “Once the bill was signed into law, THEN the court can go and look at whether it was passed legally”

    Um, Craig:
    “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker yesterday signed into law the bill that eliminates most union rights for public employees, saying he has “no doubt” that support for the measure will grow.
    “The governor’s signature on the bill quietly concluded a debate over collective bargaining that provoked three weeks of loud, relentless protests at the Capitol.”

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/national_world/stories/2011/03/12/wisconsin-union-bill-signed.html

    So you are saying that the judge was right, and SC was wrong? Ok, we agree.

    “Silliest damn thing I’ve ever heard.”

    Yes, your convoluted and circular argument is… So was the law signed? Yes. Was it then stopped? Yes. Did the WI SC then come in and say it WASN’T signed into law, and therefore couldn’t be stopped? Yes. Wrong-headed argument? Yes.

  4. Michael Eaton permalink
    June 16, 2011 9:18 am

    Oh,and apparently THIS is the way Republicans like it anyway, who cares about legal and “elections”:

    “Today, the Republican controlled Michigan Senate will vote on a bill giving newly elected Governor Rick Snyder, unprecedented power to:declare any town, city, or school district in fiscal emergency, and to appoint a fiscal manager to such a town or school district.

    “The fiscal manager, which can be a corporation, then gains the following powers:

    “Authority to dismiss all or any of your elected officials
    Authority to privatize all or any city services, including schools
    Authority to break any and all contracts entered in to by your city via your elected officials, including collective bargaining contracts
    Authority to disincorporate your town or city
    Authority to merge your school district with another school district”

    http://www.politicalruminations.com/2011/03/gov-rick-snyder-and-michigan-republicans-engaging-in-disaster-capitalism.html

  5. June 16, 2011 9:33 am

    “So you are saying that the judge was right, and SC was wrong? Ok, we agree”

    Sorry Mike, I should have been more specific. The lower court judge prevented the Secretary of State from actually putting the law into the legal code, thereby finishing the legislative process of making a law. Until it is codified, it’s still not a law.

    “Yes, your convoluted and circular argument is… So was the law signed? Yes. Was it then stopped? Yes. Did the WI SC then come in and say it WASN’T signed into law, and therefore couldn’t be stopped? Yes. Wrong-headed argument? Yes.”

    As I pointed out, the law didn’t become a law until it was “put into the books”. The judge can’t usurp the powers of the legislative, OR the executive, in executing their duties in the creation laws. They can, however, rule on those laws once THEY BECOME A LAW, invalidating or validating them then. I know this doesn’t make sense.

    Oh wait. It does make perfect sense.

    Circular logic? Not really. Convoluted? Not even close.

    What the Wisconsin SC saw was a lower court judge trying their damnedest to usurp the powers in order to prevent a law they didn’t agree from ever becoming law.

    Not in their power to do so. But, to people who “want what they want”, the rule of law never really means much…

  6. June 16, 2011 9:44 am

    ““Today, the Republican controlled Michigan Senate will vote on a bill giving newly elected Governor Rick Snyder, unprecedented power to:declare any town, city, or school district in fiscal emergency, and to appoint a fiscal manager to such a town or school district.”

    Normally I’d agree that increasing the powers to any one man is something that we should be very wary to do.

    Yet I’m betting that this has more to do with it than some “scary” consolidation of power into the hands of an unelected government official:

    “The demonstrators are concerned that the legislation could allow emergency financial managers who are appointed by the state to run struggling cities and schools to terminate union contracts held by school teachers and local government workers and also strip local elected officials of most powers.”

    Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Yes.

    When the state is crumbling financially, and the state is trying to prop up crumbling municipalities saddled with unsustainable spending and costs, I wonder why the state is making the decision to take over the running of these collapsing municipalities with a fiscal manger as opposed to simply throwing more good money after bad by giving bailouts to the failed politicians who caused the problem to begin with.

    Meh. The state house needs to be very careful on how they proceed with this. I am curious to see how the state can allow a unelected official to arbitrarily dismiss local officials and claim that such an action, without any due process, is constitutional. Or the disincorporation of a municipality. The rest of the “scare” powers seem more reasonable to an “emergency” manager trying to clean up a fiscal mess.

    I do also like the “scare” tactic of the evil GOP giving powers to… hush… get ready… a CORPORATION! BOO!

    Or the state could simply say, “Take care of your own fiscal problems. You will no longer get any state money to bail out your failing schools, hospitals, infrastructure projects unless you allow us to put you through our version of fiscal ‘rehab”. Consider it an ‘intervention'”.

    Make it an either/or approach where failing municipalities can choose the state bailout option, or fix their own problems.

  7. texan2driver permalink
    June 22, 2011 9:05 pm

    “Oh,and apparently THIS is the way Republicans like it anyway, who cares about legal and “elections””

    Car companies and banks taken over, and CEO’s forced out, contract law thrown out as preferred shareholders get robbed? NLRB suing to tell a company it can’t locate wherever it wants? Trying to make it such that employees have no choice but to unionize?

    Yep. Evil republicans.

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