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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Another perspective on Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling

This from. Prof. Chad Oldfather (Marquette).  In addition to general expertise on the subject, some valuable local knowledge from legal scholar in the room where it happens (Wisconsin!).

Among the things that are interesting about the decision is the statutory interpretation methodology. Attempting to cement textualism in place has been a longstanding project of the “conservative” justices (scare quotes both because I dislike assigning ideological positions to judges and also because I’m not sure conservative would even be the right label) in Wisconsin. The flagship opinion making the purported methodological commitment was written by Diane Sykes when she was on SCOWIS. Yet here it’s the dissenting opinions that lean on that case, while the majority relies a lot on legislative history. Meanwhile the two concurring justices whose overblown opinions you mention both lean on federal separation of powers ideas as if they transfer directly to the state context. And the footnotes are filled with venom towards one another. I’m finding it hard to remember what it’s like to live in a state with a well-functioning government.

Posted by Dan Rodriguez on May 14, 2020 at 05:46 PM | Permalink


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