New federal prosecutor for western Wisconsin inherits Lincoln Hills investigation

blader

In confirming a U.S. attorney for western Wisconsin, the U.S. Senate has put in place a new prosecutor to oversee the nearly three-year-old investigation of the state’s troubled juvenile prison. Waushara County DA Scott Blader inherits a complicated investigation that was started by Wisconsin AG Brad Schimel in 2015 and turned over to the FBI in 2016. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin judicial pick violated fair process

gavel

Sen. Tammy Baldwin has decried President Trump’s decision to “turn his back on a Wisconsin tradition of having a bipartisan process for nominating judges,” where the state’s nominating commission mitigates the role of politics in choosing Wisconsin’s federal judges. Baldwin stands on firm ground — constitutionally and historically — in defending her advise-and-consent role. > Cap Times

Several states searching out flawed FBI hair, fiber cases; Wisconsin is not

fiber

States including Massachusetts, Iowa and Arizona are initiating their own reviews of microscopic hair and fiber analysis cases, prompted by the FBI’s nationwide inquiry. Wisconsin — which has seen at least three convictions overturned after such analysis has been proven to be wrong — has no plans to do the same. > Cap Times

Public finally scores a victory on Wisconsin water

water

The Wisconsin DNR has long been the guardian of the state’s lakes and rivers, until Scott Walker and company got their hands on the department. That’s why this week’s Dane County Circuit Court ruling provides a glimmer of hope that the current DNR and Republican AG Schimel can at least somewhat be reined in. > Cap Times

Common Cause holding town halls on state’s judicial recusal problem

justic

Nonpartisan, nonprofit Common Cause in Wisconsin is holding town hall public hearings in Milwaukee and Madison on the theme “Why We Need Effective Judicial Recusal Rules in Wisconsin”, given the state is among the four worst in terms of recusal standards for judges receiving campaign contributions. It held a Green Bay town hall Monday.

Wisconsin Supreme Court cuts stipends for judges who petitioned for tougher conflict standards

scowi

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court abruptly cut stipends this month for reserve judges, reducing compensation for a group that tried to get the high court to strengthen its conflict-of-interest rules. The state has about 115 reserve judges, retired judges who fill in for circuit and appeals court judges when they’re ill or cannot hear cases. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Attorneys say portions of Foxconn law could be unconstitutional

walker-foxconn-bill

Nonpartisan attorneys for the Wisconsin Legislature are warning that portions of a newly signed law speeding up legal appeals for a Foxconn factory could be unconstitutional. Analysis of the law was prepared by attorneys for the Wisconsin Legislative Council on Tuesday at the request of Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling. > WLUK