State Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman this week coached a Milwaukee Police Association lawyer fighting the city's residency rule on how to frame an argument.
MPA attorney Jon Cermele was responding to Justice Shirley Abrahamson's observation that Milwaukee's residency rule may still have been in effect after the legislature adopted a law prohibiting residency rules because Milwaukee's residency rule was still on the books.
"You had two possible applicable rules governing your employees," she said. "One, they had to be residents; two, they didn’t have to be residents.…You didn’t know which one was going to win (in court)."
In stepped Gableman lend the MPA a hand.
"That’s one way of looking at it," he said to Cermele. "Another way of looking at it might be for you to respond by saying you felt entitled to rely on the word of the Legislature."
Yes, Justice Gableman! Thanks for the help!
Cermele was appropriately appreciative. “That would perhaps be a better way for me to have responded,” he said.
Memo to Milwaukee: We think we know how Gableman will go on this one.
Gretchen Schuldt is executive director of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative.
Sign up for the free WJI newsletter.
Help WJI advocate for justice in Wisconsin