This is surprising. Republican Justice David Prossersuggests he may favor reviewing the state's online court records database, which Democratic Reps. Kelda Roys and Marlin Schneider have proposed making less readily available online, out of concern for defendants' rights.
This is news not only because Prosser is a Republican (a former Assembly speaker), but because the proposed law seemed like dead meat after Schneider admitted that he had exaggerated the number of constituent complaints he got about the system in trying to drum up support.
But dead meat it is not:
"Whatever problems we have has been incredibly exacerbated by CCAP and the Internet," said Justice David Prosser. "The case for redress is much too compelling to just let it die."
Italked to Roys and had an email correspondence with Schneider about the bill before the controversy erupted.
Both lawmakers have personal experiences that color their stances. Roys, a UW law grad, used to work on the Innoncence Project, a non-profit that seeks to exonerate wrongly accused death row inmates. Schneider has been an advocate for more restriction on certain criminal records, including tape recordings of 911 calls, ever since he had to watch news reports of his own father's suicide as a child.
For advocates of restriction, there'd be no greater option than having the court deal with such a political hot potato. Of course, don't expect the justices to stay above the fray. Not only are they elected officials, but some of them were specifically elected by touting their anti-crime credentials.
Also look out for a quote from our own Bill Lueders, the president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, who says that CCAP clearly distinguishes between those who are convicted and those who have their cases dismissed.