Today, the conservative majority on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court voted to kill a petition endorsed by 54 retired jurists to require judges and justices to recuse themselves when hearing cases involving groups or individuals who supported their campaign and helped get them on the bench.
The high court’s decision lets the current rules stand which doesn’t include a distinction for conflicts of interest to make it clear when judges cannot hear cases. The move to reject reform comes after years of large contributions from special interests groups flooding the high court and assisting mightily in crafting the current conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
The following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning with regards to today’s vote:
“I am very disappointed by the court’s unfair decision that protects the people who fill their campaign coffers and rejects the opportunity to clean up the court’s ethical reputation. Today’s action shows that the five conservatives on the Supreme Court who voted against reforming recusal rules value their ties to wealthy special interests far more than preventing corruption and honoring the public’s trust.”