Thursday, June 12, 2008

Robed And Naked

Annette Ziegler became the first state Supreme Court justice in Wisconsin history to be found guilty of judicial misconduct and disciplined by the high court for failing to disclose financial conflicts of interest she had in cases she handled as a circuit court judge and refusing to recuse herself from the cases and let another judge handle them as state ethics rules require.

Now that Ziegler's sitting on the Supreme Court, she's recusing up a storm. Her political ties and her campaign finances make her so conflicted she will have to be a part-time judge.

It doesn't take a law degree to see a trend in the making here. While Ziegler sticks out like a sore thumb for now when it comes to her recusal rate, she won't for long. Not unless the way Supreme Court elections are conducted is completely overhauled. If future high court races go the way of the last two, more and more members of the court are going to be forced to recuse themselves more and more frequently.

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