Today, in Wisconsin, a candidate for it’s highest court is declaring her intention, if elected, to set aside that state’s recent legislation regarding public employee rights and benefits passed by both the Wisconsin House and Senate and singed into law by Wisconsin’s Governor. It has here-to-fore been universally understood that judicial candidates should never announce how they will vote if elected on an issue certain to come before the court on which they seek to serve.
It is unethical for a member of an appellate court to prejudge any issue. To do so makes a mockery of the idea of judicial fairness.Â The fact that most Wisconsin school teachers and their union are supporting the openly biased candidate makes the matter all the more troubling. What, one may fairly ask, are they teaching their students about respect for law?
Our judicial system only works if the vast majority of it’s decisions are complied with voluntarily and that only happens when there is wide spread faith in the court’s integrity. If we destroy the generally accepted sense of judicial impartiality, there will never be enough police to enforce judicial decisions.
Whatever one may think of the legal controversy Wisconsin, upholding the integrity of the court is more important than any decision the court may render. That requires rejecting any candidate for judicial office who signals their partiality regarding any controversy certain to come before the court on which they seek to serve. Â To do otherwise is to put politics and self interest above principle and to do great harm to Wisconsin and to our nation.