State Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, a financial beneficiary of the gun lobby, participated in Friday's case, Wisconsin Carry Inc. v. City of Madison.
Wisconsin Carry, a pro-gun organization, seeks to overturn a Madison transit commission's rule that prohibits guns on buses. A Dane County Circuit judge and a Court of Appeals panel found that the state's concealed carry pre-emption law applied only to resolutions and ordinances adopted by the common council, not to a rule implemented by an agency.
Gableman is indebted to the gun lobby, He took $1,500 from the Wisconsin Concealed Carry Movement political action committee and $1,000 from the NRA Political Victory Fund before his last election.
The Supreme Court justices decided, on a 4-3 vote in 2009, that accepting lots of money from someone with an interest in the outcome of a case doesn't mean the accepting justice is biased in that case.
Attorney General Brad Schimel, who filed a brief favoring bus gun-toters, accepted $1,000 from the NRA Victory Fund in 2014. Schimel was under no legal obligation to file the brief.
Gretchen Schuldt is executive director of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative.
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