A common tactic of the ACLU when it loses a point in the political process is to use the judicial process to trump democracy, when the people fail to see the wisdom of the ACLU position. The same tactic has reared its ugly head in Wisconsin, where allies of the ACLU have mounted a legal challenge to prevent Judge Annette Ziegler from taking her seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for the ten-year term she has just won in last fall’s election.
The Wisconsin Democracy Project (WDP), which is a left-leaning ally of the ACLU, as one might gather from its name, has filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, which hears complaints against judges at any level. That Commission has the power to recommend a reprimand, censure, suspension or removal from office. The final decision-maker in all such cases would be the Wisconsin Supreme Court itself, without Judge Ziegler participating, of course.
The gravamen of the complaint by WDP was that Judge Ziegler violated conflict of interest requirements by not noting that her husband was a director of a Savings and Loan, in cases before her involving that S&L. The charges both here and before the State Ethics Committee, which has no authority to discipline judges, came directly from the campaign of Linda Clifford, during last year’s election campaign in which Ziegler won handily.