Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds Dane County's COVID-19 health restrictions.
In a 4-3 ruling released Friday, the majority found that state law grants local health officers the power to issue public health orders without first getting permission from elected city and county officials.
Justices Jill Karofsky, Ann Walsh Bradley and Rebecca Dallet, all of whom won their seats with backing from Democrats, formed the majority. The dissenters — Justices Rebecca Bradley, Annette Ziegler and Patience Roggensack — were elected with the help of Republicans.
Justice Brian Hagedorn, who was also backed by Republicans but has often been a swing vote on the court, sided with the majority this time but wrote a separate, concurring opinion.
GM Today: Wisconsin Supreme Court says parents suing school must disclose their names.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, a conservative law firm, is representing the parents. The firm's attorneys asked Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington to allow them to proceed without revealing the parents' names out of fear they would be subject to retaliation and harassment.
Remington ordered the firm to give the names to him and school district attorneys under seal. The firm refused, arguing that the district's attorneys could leak the names and that their identities aren't relevant. The firm has insisted that the parents are indeed Madison school district residents and, as such, have standing to sue.
The Supreme Court upheld Remington's order and remanded the case back to him to continue deliberations on the merits.
Slate: Mark Joseph Stern on the Wisconsin Supreme Court's ballot-box decision.
In truth, though, we all suffer from this decision. It is a blow to the democratic project that undermines free and fair elections while purporting to protect them. (Justice Rebecca) Grassl Bradley proclaimed that making voting harder somehow increases the legitimacy of the results, a baseless yet fundamental tenet of the modern Republican Party. Worse, she has signed her court onto Republicans’ lie that the results of Wisconsin’s 2020 election were “illegitimate” because they included ballots cast “unlawfully.” Her decision is a love letter to the Big Lie.
APG: Wisconsin state senator threatens to sue Secretary of State for not mailing joint resolution calling for federal constitutional convention.
The resolution holds that the secretary of state must send an application to Congress and other state legislatures for a convention of states. But (Secretary of State Doug) La Follette and his office not only haven’t sent those documents but are rarely returning messages or emails asking whether they’ve done so, according to state Sen. Kathleen Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, the Senate majority caucus vice chair and chair of the Senate Elections Committee. . . .
In response, La Follette said in an interview that he didn’t send the documents by mail because his office didn’t have enough money. He added that his office has now ordered the envelopes and hopes to send out the documents by Aug. 1, after which time Bernier said she would take legal action.
“Here’s the point of these Republicans,” La Follette said. “They have stripped the office to nothing. They have cut the budget to nothing. They have eliminated the staff to nothing. And then they complain that we don’t do things. I mean, I’m fed up with them to be honest.”
Bankrate: Study puts Wisconsin fifth in number of cases of road rage involving a firearm, behind only Texas, Florida, California, and Tennessee.
The Guardian: Justice Clarence Thomas played the long game.
“By virtue of the fact that Clarence Thomas has been on the supreme court as long as he has, he has slowly gained much more influence and has now become the dominant ideological leader of the conservatives,” said Edward Fallone, an associate professor at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“He is certainly more confident and more muscular now that he has allies on his side but he has been strikingly consistent over the decades. He simply waited for the rest of the conservative world to catch up to him.”
Politico: The religious right's methods to influence Supreme Court justices.
Rob Schenck, an evangelical minister who headed the Faith and Action group headquartered near the Supreme Court from 1995 to 2018, said he arranged over the years for about 20 couples to fly to Washington to visit with and entertain Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and the late Antonin Scalia.
Schenck, who was once an anti-abortion activist but broke with the religious right in the last decade over its aggressive tactics and support for gun rights, said the couples were instructed before the dinners to use certain phrases to influence the justices while steering clear of the specifics of cases pending before the court — for example, to “talk about the importance of a child having a father and a mother,” rather than engage in the particulars of a gay-rights case.
Above the Law: Morton's Steakhouse says one's right to protest must bow to Justice Kavanaugh's right to eat dinner.
Interestingly, the “right to congregate and eat dinner” is nowhere to be found in the text of the Constitution and a quick Google search of major periodicals of the 18th century found no mention of this specific scenario. Looks like we’ve got another activist steakhouse on our hands! This is why you have to get out and vote so Ruth’s Chris can make these decisions.
Virginia Mercury: Virginia governor signs law curtailing good-time credits just two weeks before many incarcerated persons expected release.
Yahoo News (People): Pregnant woman in Texas cites overturning of Roe v. Wade when pulled over for driving in carpool lane, gets ticket anyway.
(Brandy) Battone said the cop told her the HOV lane requires two passengers, meaning "two people outside of the body." According to the Texas penal code, the term "'Individual' means a human being who is alive, including an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth." . . .
"One officer kind of brushed me off when I mentioned this is a living child, according to everything that's going on with the overturning of Roe v. Wade," she continued. "'So I don't know why you're not seeing that,' I said.
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