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Wisconsin Supreme Court Grants New Trial in State of Wisconsin v. Alan M. Johnson

Alan M. Johnson was convicted in Walworth County of first-degree reckless homicide in the death of his brother-in-law. (Johnson’s late brother-in-law is identified in today’s high court opinion as ‘K.M.’ The events of the case took place in Whitewater, and the Walworth County trial was before Circuit Judge Kristine Drettwan.) Johnson appealed his conviction, and…

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rejects, 4-3, Trump Campaign’s Petition to Overturn Wisconsin Election Result

Earlier this morning, the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied the Trump Campaign’s petition to overturn, on various grounds, Joe Biden & Kamala Harris’s popular-vote victory in the state. (As a matter of law, the state’s high court affirmed a prior judgment and order against the Trump Campaign in the Circuit Court for Milwaukee County, Stephen A.…

Frontline: Supreme Revenge: Battle for the Supreme Court

With the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett days before the 2020 presidential election, conservatives solidified a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court — and the chance to shape American life and policy for a generation. Behind it all was a powerful Republican from Kentucky: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for whom Barrett’s confirmation was…

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on DACA in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program allows certain persons who arrived in the United States as children to apply for a forbearance of removal. Today, a five-person majority of the nation’s high court ruled in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California that the Trump Administration violated the Administrative…

Practical Implications After Wisconsin v. Palm: The Divide over the Novel Coronavirus

On March 24th, I first began a draft of this post. It seemed to probable then – and it is true now – that Trump would effectually abandon a social distancing or stay-at-home approach, and encourage business as usual to resume promptly. The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s ruling in Wisconsin v. Palm has brought that abandonment to Wisconsin…

‘This Principle Is More Important Than Winning’

In the New York Times, Justice-elect Jill Karofsky writes I’m the Judge Who Won in Wisconsin. This Principle Is More Important Than Winning (‘We must get away from a partisan view of the law‘): In cities like Milwaukee and Green Bay, the wait [to vote] ended up being as long as three hours. And because the…

The Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

Yesterday’s spring primary included a statewide contest for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, with incumbent Justice Dan Kelly and challengers Judge Jill Karofsky and Professor Ed Fallone. (It was the only race on Whitewater’s ballot, as there were no contested local races). A few remarks — Statewide. Kelly and Karofsky will move on to the spring…

Jim Crow’s Last Stand

The legacy of Jim Crow continues to loom large in the United States. But nowhere is it arguably more evident than in Louisiana. In 1898, a constitutional convention successfully codified a slew of Jim Crow laws in a flagrant effort to disenfranchise black voters and otherwise infringe on their rights. “Our mission was to establish the supremacy of the…

Major Supreme Court Decisions (And Where to Find Them)

There were two major United States Supreme Court decisions handed down today, on partisan gerrymandering and on a possible citizenship question for the 2020 census form. There will be significant commentary – some informed, some not – about these decisions, but it’s worth reading them in full.  Like most decisions, they’re lengthy, yet always worth…

Treatment Courts as Practical Success Stories

Treatment courts, whether for drunk driving or drug abuse, have been successful in jurisdictions across the country.  Counties from coast to coast – red or blue – have seen positive outcomes from judicially-overseen treatment programs.  Despite this, there’s been opposition to a drug treatment court in rural Walworth County, sadly beset by addictions of various…