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As I've been saying, there has to be a great big steaming pile of "there" there in the latest John Doe Probe.  Right wing forces have been trying to kill the investigation since it was first revealed not only by the usual persistent and loud claims of "political prosecution" and witch hunt, but by utilizing many high priced criminal lawyers and going to the courts.

In their latest effort, 2 unnamed parties have gone directly to the State Supreme Court as efforts to stop what has been called "Son of Doe" or "John Doe II" from further investigations have failed in federal court.  

The judge and prosecutor overseeing a secret investigation into recall campaign fundraising have again been sued — this time before the state Supreme Court.

In the latest lawsuit, two unnamed petitioners filed what is known as an original action before Wisconsin's highest court.

In such matters, parties try to get their cases directly heard by the Supreme Court, rather than having them start in lower courts and move their way up through appeals. The Supreme Court rarely takes such cases.

The court issued its first order in the case on Tuesday but sealed its ruling from public view. Legal experts called the sealing of a court order highly unusual.

(bolding is mine)

That's right, folks.  They didn't even bother with those pesky lower courts that the rest of us little people have to use.  They went directly, and secretly, right to the State Supreme Court which continues to have a 4/3 RW majority which includes David (the Choker) Prosser.   And the State Supreme Court is allowing them to keep everything very, very secret by sealing their ruling, a highly unusual move according to legal experts (including a former Republican member of the State Supreme Court) interviewed by the reporter of the piece.

How unusual is this?

In a 1969 decision regarding access to court records, the state Supreme Court wrote: "We have been advised of no powers possessed by any judge of this state to suppress a decision from the public after it has been made available to the parties thereto."

That case dealt with making available a final decision in a case, rather than an order in the preliminary stages of a lawsuit. But the court nonetheless spoke in strong terms, writing that even if well-intentioned, the motives of judges to keep decisions from the public "cannot supersede the clear public policy pronouncements of the Legislature that a decision must be filed with the clerk of court and when, so filed, it is subject to examination by any person."

Keeping court decisions secret would lead to "abuse" and "judicial caprice," the court wrote then.

(bolding is mine)

Well, that was then and this is now when our Republican dominated government is openly ignoring Open Records and transparency laws as a matter of routine.

This filing comes directly on the heels of a lawsuit filed just days ago by Wisconsin Club for Growth in another attempt to kill the investigation into the possibility of illegal coordination between RW money groups and campaigns in Wisconsin.

Considering the amount of RW outrage from the onset, the THREE lawsuits already filed and this new "we're not messing around, we're going directly to our pals on the State Supreme Court" tactic, these ferocious attempts to stop, block, obstruct, and waste John Doe Prosecutors time (and the taxpayers money!) seem to be an indication that there is a lot at stake and plenty to hide.

And hiding behind secret filings with unnamed parties just adds to my suspicions.  

No one knows what's in the State Supreme Courts rulings because it's sealed.  It could be something routine such as a deadline for legal briefs, but providing NO information to the public - even whether or not all 7 Justices heard the case or the vote on their ruling - shouldn't be hidden.

Of course, maybe creating a lawsuit "traffic jam" is the goal.  The State Supreme Court shouldn't be helping them.

Stay tuned.


Update:  I posted this on my last Top Comments diary, but need to add let you all know.  So just a note that I'll be out of town and computerless from tomorrow until very late Tuesday.  Going out of town for a mini vacation.  I hope I won't miss any exciting news while I'm away.



Originally posted to Puddytat on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 11:57 AM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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