This is what some of the state's editorial boards are saying about the ethics case against Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman and the state's judicial system in general.
The Oshkosh NorthwesternAnyone paying attention knows what Gableman did and why he did it. He has brought shame and dishonor on himself and that will be his judicial legacy. It is unlikely that Gableman will achieve any distinction on the high court that will be surpass his despicable, yet legal, election tactic.
Beloit Daily News:If there is a lesson in this - and we think there is - it's the same one we have written about before. There ought to be a better way to pick judges.
Journal Sentinel: And this prompts the question: Why should voters believe that the mere act of donning black robes will suddenly transform any justice who lies to get elected into the picture of legal impartiality and propriety?
Wisconsin State Journal: About half of the states have a better system. They appoint - rather than elect - top judges based on their experience, reputation and record of independence. Those states insulate a citizen panel as much as possible from politics to recommend a list of the best legal minds to the governor or some other appointing authority.
Capital Times:Our friends at the Wisconsin State Journal refused to make an endorsement in the 2008 state Supreme Court election, where Michael Gableman narrowly defeated Justice Louis Butler...As with the paper's other campaigns to eliminate statewide elected positions, eliminate county elected positions, consolidate units of government and reduce the number of county board seats, the State Journal argues that democracy is the problem.
Here's one thing the Cap Times and State Journal have in common: They're both better at writing political talking points than defending a policy with relevant evidence or compelling arguments.
It's easy enough to call oneself a defender of democracy, and assume that all the offices the progressives opened up to elections a century ago should stay that way. But where is the line drawn between politics and professionalism? Should all state bureaucrats be elected by the people? Don't expect the Cap Times to answer that question with anything more than a vague quote from Fighting Bob.