Public finally scores a victory on Wisconsin water

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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

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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

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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

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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

Look what paved the way for the Foxconn court bypass

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Matt Rothschild from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign writes that while Foxconn appears to be getting unprecedented special privileges in our court system, the GOP-dominated Legislature actually paved the way for this with a bill that was introduced back in 2013. > Cap Times

Wisconsin court appeals process would be changed for Foxconn under bill

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Legal decisions related to Wisconsin’s deal with Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company Foxconn could be appealed directly to the state Supreme Court under legislation approved Tuesday by the Legislature’s budget-writing committee. > Cap Times

Wisconsin seat on U.S. appeals court remains a symbol of partisan judicial wars

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During the Obama administration, Sen. Ron Johnson heavily wielded his “blue slip” power against any nominee for a key Wisconsin seat on the federal judiciary. But with power now shifted, Republicans are angling to deprive Democrats – Sen. Tammy Baldwin, in this case – of the same power. Johnson argues that “circumstances have changed.” > Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune