Skip to comments.Wisconsin Civil-Rights March:Prosecutors targeting conservatives lose in federal court
Posted on 04/12/2014 7:30:11 AM PDT by TurboZamboni
Score another one for free political speech. On Tuesday, Federal District Judge Rudolph Randa soundly rejected a motion to dismiss a federal civil-rights lawsuit against Wisconsin prosecutors who are investigating the political activities of conservative groups (but not liberals).
In a 19-page ruling, Judge Randa wrote that Wisconsin Club for Growth Director Eric O'Keefe's claim that the unlawful investigation violates his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights may proceed. Mr. O'Keefe has standing to bring the lawsuit because "chilled speech is, unquestionably, an injury supporting standing" and that claim doesn't depend on whether he is charged with a crime; "the threat of prosecution is enough."
Prosecutors argued that the federal suit couldn't proceed under the 1971 Supreme Court ruling in Younger v. Harris, which prevents federal courts from intervening in a criminal prosecution. That precedent doesn't apply here, Judge Randa wrote, because the state's secretive John Doe proceeding is not a prosecution but "an investigatory device, similar to a grand jury proceeding, but lacking the oversight of a jury."
The Younger exemption also does not apply, the judge added, when the plaintiffs allege that the prosecution was "brought in bad faith for the purpose of retaliating for or deterring the exercise of constitutionally protected rights." Mr. O'Keefe's claim easily satisfies that requirement with its assertion that the John Doe investigation into possible campaign finance violations has been selectively used as a "pretext" to target conservative groups and deter their political engagement.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
The ruling means that those named in the lawsuit, including special prosecutor Francis Schmitz, Democratic prosecutors John Chisholm, Bruce Landgraf, David Robles and Government Accountability Board contractor Dean Nickel can be held personally liable. The judge rejected their claims of immunity, noting that a prosecutor's absolute immunity is "limited to the performance of his prosecutorial duties, and not to other duties to which he might to assigned by his superiors or perform on his own initiative, such as investigating a crime before an arrest or indictment."
The John Doe probe has been a one-sided investigation conducted against political opponents to chill their ability to influence elections, and now the prosecutors will have to defend themselves in open court.
Judge is a hero. Watch for the left to demonize him.
Bad headline. This was just a procedural motion. Tired of articles in publications being written by individuals not versed in the subject ... at least a little.
Now the Plaintiff’s may win in Court and THAT is a win. This is a procedural win and the distinction should be made.
Thank God that there are still federal judges who respect the law and are not part of the communist run left, may the good Lord Jesus bless the honest and faithful judges and remove all democrat and homosexual and feminist unjust judges from their terrorist seats of power so our nation may yet survive.
Wisconsin Club for Growth “free speech” lawsuit progresses...
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
“Judge is a hero. Watch for the left to demonize him.”
Yeah, for the Marsists, free speech is only allowed if what you have to say comports with their views. Cue the “leaders” from Brandeis University who just knocked under to CARE.
Thank you - for the clarification.
Prosecutors argued that the federal suit couldn't proceed under the 1971 Supreme Court ruling in Younger v. Harris, which prevents federal courts from intervening in a criminal prosecution. That precedent doesn't apply here, Judge Randa wrote, because the state's secretive John Doe proceeding is not a prosecution but "an investigatory device, similar to a grand jury proceeding, but lacking the oversight of a jury." The Younger exemption also does not apply, the judge added, when the plaintiffs allege that the prosecution was "brought in bad faith for the purpose of retaliating for or deterring the exercise of constitutionally protected rights."
Interesting. Usually, the judge is in cahoots with the prosecutor.
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I do agree, it would be more precise to say plaintiff was noit kicked out of court, or was allowed to present his case.
Very important ping...
I would like to know how many liberal groups the FBI investigates... and how much money the FBI spends investigating liberal groups compared to conservative groups.
This is a victory...
Maybe a good precedent for True the Vote’s case against Elijah.
lot of good things happening in the cheese state. Is the gov staying put or throwing his hat in?
I don’t know but I’m slowly staring to be impressed....
would be nice to see someone with actual achievements and balls get in the job.
Being a governor is managing - time, money, people, taxes, budgets etc. One of the reason Ronald Reagan was so great at being President is he not only had ideas, he knew how to make those ideas become real.
And yeah, I'm impressed with what I know about Scott Walker.
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