Sep 24, 2014

Appellate Panel Knocks Down Judge Randa Hard in Scott Walker, John Doe Case

John Doe Probe Is Open as Rudolph Randa Is Rebuked

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa's ruling halting a state John Doe investigation last May is reversed by a panel of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit today in O'Keefe and Club for Growth, Inc v. Chisholm and Schmitz. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel document)

The ruling rejected Randa's innovative theory of the First Amendment under which Randa asserts coordination between campaigns and independent issue groups is legal, no matter how states regulate such activity that has resulted in numerous criminal convictions in recent years.

The John Doe probe is open, as it was in January.

The John Doe probe was halted between May and September 24 by Judge Rudolph Randa's corrupt order and opinion in May that few objective observers contacted believed would stand, and would be reversed in months.

"Results-oriented" is the euphemism for corrupt is public legal statements by jurists making public observations.

Writes Judge Easterbrook for the panel:

...neither a state nor a federal court had held that Wisconsin’s (or any other state’s) regulation of coordinated fundraising and issue advocacy violates the First Amendment.

  Starting with Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 46–47, 78 (1976), the Supreme Court has stated repeatedly that, although the First Amendment protects truly independent expenditures for political speech, the government is entitled to regulate coordination between candidates’ campaigns and purportedly independent groups. See also, e.g., FEC v. Colorado Re-­‐‑ publican Federal Campaign Committee, 533 U.S. 431, 447 (2001); McConnell v. FEC, 540 U.S. 93, 202–03, 219–23 (2003), over-­‐‑ ruled in part on other grounds by Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U.S. 310 (2010). This is so because Buckley held that the Constitution allows limits on how much one person can contribute to a politician’s campaign. If campaigns tell potential contributors to divert money to nominally independent groups that have agreed to do the campaigns’ bidding, these contribution limits become porous, and the requirement that politicians’ campaign committees disclose the donors and amounts becomes useless.

Although press reports that an overseeing Judge Gregory Peterson had effectively shut down the probe by quashing subpoenas in January, acquired evidence made public (and likely evidence and testimony not yet made public) point to Scott Walker being implicated in a criminal scheme, the point of the John Doe probe determining if and by whom crimes may have been committed.

Documents made public in June, months after Judge Gregory had squashed subpoenas, made clear that Wisconsin Constitutional law enforcement officials, district attorneys, and investigators believed Scott Walker appeared to be a the center of a "criminal scheme." (Marley, Bice and Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

The scope of the criminal scheme under investigation "is expansive," (Republican Special) Prosecutor Francis Schmitz wrote. "It includes criminal violations of multiple elections laws, including violations of Filing a False Campaign Report or Statement and Conspiracy to File a False Campaign Report or Statement."

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