Dane County (Madison area) lawmakers and judges are going berserk over Wisconsin’s new voter ID law. Dane County Judge David Flanagan imposed a temporary injunction against the requirement a couple of days ago, that would be in force beyond the April elections. Now, a former Wisconsin judge has come out saying that Flanagan was within his rights to rule on the issue, despite signing a petition for Governor Scott Walker’s recall, among other things. WTMJ in Milwaukee:
She was asked if it was unethical for Judge Flanagan to sign a recall Walker petition and make a ruling on the voter ID law. “I don’t believe that was an ethical violation. I don’t think it was a wise decision,” said Geske. “As a citizen, I think he probably had the right to sign it.”
John read from the Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct SCR 60.05 which says:
“A judge shall so conduct the judge’s extra-judicial activities as to minimize the risk of conflict with judicial obligations.”
(1) Extra-judicial Activities in General. A judge shall conduct all of the judge’s extra-judicial activities so that they do none of the following:
(a) Cast reasonable doubt on the judge’s capacity to act impartially as a judge.
John asked if signing the recall petition violated the judicial code of conduct. Geske said there was no reason to know Judge Flanagan would end up with this case. She did have issues that Judge Flanagan didn’t disclose that he signed the recall petition and that there wasn’t an evaluation to determine whether it was appropriate for him to hear the case.
Janine Geske was appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court by former Governor Tommy Thompson, who is seeking election to the Senate for the seat being vacated by Herb Kohl.
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