"Walker's judges" is our effort to present information about Gov. Walker's appointees to the bench. The information is taken from the appointees' own judgeship applications.
Name: David L. Weber
Appointed to: Door County Circuit Court
Appointment date: July 1, 2016
Law School – Drake University Law School
Undergrad – Lawrence University
High School – Sturgeon Bay High School
1992 - present - Associate / partner with Pinkert Law Firm
The Iowa State Bar Association, 1986-present
The State Bar of Wisconsin, 1986-present
Wisconsin Defense Counsel, Approx. 1990--present.
Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 2007-present.
St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Green Bay, 2009-present; life member, 2015--present.
The Federalist Society, 2016
Legal experience as an advocate in criminal litigation, civil litigation, administrative proceedings: Very limited criminal law experience, but extensive civil experience.
Cases tried: 40+ trials to verdict, about half bench trials and half jury trials. Significant worker’s compensation experience.
Professional or civic organizations, volunteer activities, service in a church or synagogue, or any other activities or hobbies that could be relevant or helpful to consideration of the application.
1. Allouez Optimist Club (1988-1992).
2. WI State Bar Mock Trial Judge/Coach (1988-1996).
3. Sturgeon Bay Lions Club, 1993-1997; Board of Directors (1995-1997).
4. Sturgeon Bay Legal Aid Society, Board of Directors (1997-2000).
5. St. Joseph Catholic Church, Finance Council (1997-2003).
6. Door County Economic Development Corporation, Board of Directors (2000-2005; Chair, 2005).
7. Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club, Judge Advocate (2003-2008).
8. Bordui Scholarship Foundation, Board of Directors (2003-2011).
9. St. John Bosco Catholic School, Board of Trustees (2011-present; Chair, 2015-present).
10. Member, St. Joseph Catholic Church (lifetime).
11. Member, St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Green Bay (2009- present; life member, 2015--present).*
Worst US Supreme Court decision – Obergefall v. Hodges
Why I Want to Be a Judge - I want to be judge to serve the community in which I was born and raised. I feel my life has been blessed....
I am not trying to escape any unpleasant situation. I have great law partners who I get along with. I know it would be difficult in some ways for me to leave my firm.
Yet, I feel my experience and temperament would enable me to be a good judge. I feel it is time for me to give back for the many blessings that have been bestowed on me.
Judicial philosophy - I believe a judge should first and foremost follow the law as written by the legislature. It is not a circuit court judge’s job, in my opinion, to create new law or to change the law as written. I believe, therefore, in a strict separation of legislative and judicial powers. If the law is ambiguous, a judge should make every effort to determine, to the extent possible, the intent of the legislature and apply the law consistent with that intent.
In matters involving case law, the doctrine of stare decisis demands that a judge follow precedent at all times. When case law is ambiguous, a judge should use those principles which are most consistent with established precedent to resolve the dispute.
Best Wisconsin or US Supreme Court decision – United States v. Lopez
The U. S. Supreme Court held in this decision that the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1990 was unconstitutional on the grounds that Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause did not extend to regulating the possession of firearms in public schools.
The Court essentially held that the statute’s affect on interstate commerce was too attenuated for the statute to be valid. “To uphold the Government’s contentions here,” wrote Justice Rehnquist, “we would have to pile inference upon inference in a manner that would…convert congressional authority under the Commerce Clause to a general police power of the sort retained by the States.” Rehnquist admitted that the court’s prior decisions could be taken as long steps down that road, but he noted that Court declined to proceed further.
This is a good decision for the simple reason that it stopped a trend of the Supreme Court to continually expand congressional power through the Commerce Clause. While the court did not overrule any of its previous decisions interpreting the Commerce Clause, it did finally take a stand in this case and set some outer boundaries of Congress’s power.
Worst Wisconsin or US Supreme Court decision – Obergefall v. Hodges
The U. S. Supreme Court held in this decision that the fundamental right to marry extends to same-sex couples....the decision is a bad one for at least three reasons.
First, it creates a new right not included in the constitution. The framers of the 14th Amendment did not intend same-sex marriage to be safeguarded in the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses. Same-sex marriage was unheard of then and is not rooted in the nation’s history or traditions.
Second, it redefines marriage when this is a question that should be left to the states. I express no opinion about what marriage is or what it should be. I do express an opinion about who should decide these questions. “Understand well what this dissent is about,” states Justice John Roberts in his dissent. “It is not about whether, in my judgment, the institution of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples. It is instead about whether, in our democratic republic, that decision should rest with the people acting through their elected representatives, or with five lawyers who happen to hold commissions authorizing them to resolve legal disputes according to law.” The Supreme Court’s job is not to give its approval to popular notions of social policy and fairness; it is rather to decide legal disputes within its constitutional limitations. The majority bases its decision on weak legal precedent. It seems to have wanted to do what is politically correct rather than what is legally correct.
Finally, the decision raises troublesome 1st Amendment questions involving freedom of religion. It appears inevitable that certain people who exercise their explicitly-granted religious freedom will come into conflict with those who exercise the newly-created right established in this decision.
*The purposes of the St. Thomas More Society, according to its website, are, in part: To inculcate in the Society and in the public generally a deeper understanding of their dependence upon Almighty God as the source of all human rights; to promote the study and application of theology, philosophy and jurisprudence to the end that the system of law may better apply eternal truths to the solution of everyday legal problems; and to sponsor the annual Lawyers' Red Mass and other Masses throughout the year and otherwise to invoke God's blessing upon the legal profession and persons in government.
Gretchen Schuldt is executive director of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative.
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