Skip to main content

Last week, in a move that even Republicans have called shocking, U.S. Federal District Court Judge Rudy Randa put the kibosh on a John Doe investigation looking into whether Governor Walker's campaign used a scheme of coordination with third party advocacy groups as a way to funnel millions of illegal corporate money into his recall campaign. 

It's no secret that Randa is a conservative, but it turns out that he's also married to one of Walker's frequent contributors:  Melinda Randa has given to Walker four times in the last four years.  

According to the American Bar Association's Key Issues in Judicial Ethics: Political Activities by a Judge's Family, political contributions by a spouse are frowned-upon because there is an "inevitable public belief" that overt political actions "would or must implicate the fundamental thinking of the judge." However, because everyone is entitled to their free speech rights, a judge's spouse isn't bound to the same rules shunning political activity:  

Consistent with the right to free speech contained in the First Amendment, however, the code of judicial conduct does not and probably could not prohibit members of a judge’s family from engaging in independent political activity.  Therefore, judges have never been required to compel family members to shun political activity. They have been, however, required to encourage family members to do so.

The ABA does, however, say that a judge's spouse can't use the joint checking account to make a contribution to a campaign: 

A judge who is prohibited from making political contributions should ensure that the judge’s spouse does not use the couple’s joint funds to make a contribution to a political campaign.

It is unknown at this time what steps, if any, Melinda Randa took to build a firewall between her political donations and her husband. 

Melinda Randa is also well-known for being the longtime executive director for the nonprofit group, Adoption Choice, which is as an anti-abortion group that encourages women to go the route of adoption.  She's retired now, but she was in that position when her husband made the controversial ruling that sided with abortion protesters seeking to block access to Planned Parenthood clinics.  

And both Randa and his wife are active in the Milwaukee diocese, but that didn't prevent Randa from ruling on them either. 

Judge Randa apparently has never read the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges that dictates a judge must not only avoid all impropriety, but equally important, the "appearance of impropriety." 

Originally posted to Jud Lounsbury on Tue May 13, 2014 at 01:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Bob Johnson, RF, teacherken, Heimyankel, hyperstation, xynz, niemann, Creosote, TracieLynn, EricS, sponson, whenwego, mrblifil, chimpy, vmckimmey, jalbert, oceanview, Nate Roberts, Iberian, dksbook, wader, psnyder, Catte Nappe, imicon, glattonfolly, Josiah Bartlett, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, rapala, maybeeso in michigan, radarlady, Ckntfld, LakeSuperior, blueyedace2, fixxit, Ice Blue, Sandino, rb608, bunsk, Alan Arizona, third Party please, myboo, Kingsmeg, 417els, ruleoflaw, dougymi, Rosaura, real world chick, JVolvo, ER Doc, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, blueoregon, AllanTBG, Aaa T Tudeattack, tegrat, anna shane, BeninSC, Habitat Vic, FishOutofWater, jnhobbs, hopi13, leonard145b, keyscritter, on the cusp, TomP, Empower Ink, TX Freethinker, Sixty Something, NewDealer, elwior, monkeybrainpolitics, TokenLiberal, Jeff Y, catly, jorogo, Uncle Bob, dmhlt 66, LaFeminista, Throw The Bums Out, Ravenstream, notrouble, TheOpinionGuy, Keith Pickering, Tortmaster, jfromga, Just Bob, flitedocnm, Polly Syllabic, Simple, renzo capetti, Puddytat, addisnana, slice, Mister Met, kerflooey, Liberal Capitalist, slowbutsure, FarWestGirl, EquityRoy, PedalingPete, Jasonhouse, thomask, BarackStarObama, Sark Svemes, Sunspots, DRo, bassinduo, DEMonrat ankle biter, No one gets out alive, Arahahex, noise of rain, New Minas, OldJackPine, Kayjay, peptabysmal, madcitysailor, kestrel sparhawk, Stude Dude, Ashes of Roses, Lily O Lady, Blue Bell Bookworm, jusjtim35, TeamSarah4Choice, poopdogcomedy, goodpractice, aresea, Jollie Ollie Orange, howabout, bob152, ET3117, Mike Kahlow, notevenclosetoonepercent, Jim Domenico, Catkin, Capt Crunch, old mule, sillycarrot, bearsguy, hbk, AWilson, Older and Wiser Now

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site