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U.S. Federal District Court Judge Rudolph Rhana of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, an appointee of Former Republican President George H.W. Bush who is one of the most conservative federal judges in the entire country, ordered that a multi-county "John Doe" investigation into alleged illegal coordination between Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's campaign, other Republican campaigns in Wisconsin, and Republican/conservative front groups be shut down on free speech grounds.

To put that another way, Judge Rhana ruled that Republicans and conservatives are effectively above the law in Wisconsin and elsewhere in this country, and that the First Amendment protects criminal activity. That is the single most destructive precedent that has ever been set by a court of law in this country's history.

Sadly, this is part of a larger War on the First Amendment by conservative judges in recent years. First, two U.S. Supreme Court rulings, Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC, opened the floodgates to big-money politics, then the U.S. Supreme Court allowed government-sanctioned prayer in Town of Greece v. Galloway, and now a federal district court in Wisconsin has effectively ruled that Republicans and conservatives are above the law in this country. All of those cases were on First Amendment grounds.

Republican judges have effectively turned the First Amendment from a shield to protect various forms of freedom of expression into a tool to shove religious beliefs down the throats of others and help Republicans and conservatives get away with criminal activity.

Originally posted to Aaron Camp on DailyKos on Tue May 06, 2014 at 05:16 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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