Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Michael Gableman's attorney admits that overturning the 2020 presidential election is impossible.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Options for the Wisconsin Supreme Court after U.S. Supreme Court tosses redistricting maps.
Slate: Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings show targets on marriage equality precedent.
For several decades, Republicans used Supreme Court nomination hearings to sharpen their knives against Roe v. Wade. They have long seized the opportunity to make their case against Roe, railing against the decision as a paragon of judicial activism and overreach. During Ketanji Brown Jackson’s hearings this week, GOP senators have, predictably, condemned Roe—but not as much as might be expected. Instead, many senators have turned their attention to a different precedent that’s likely next on their hit list once Roe likely falls this summer: Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 decision recognizing same-sex couples’ constitutional right to marry.
Reuters: Supreme Court nominee's hearings highlight lack of value shown for public defenders.
In 1976, Georgia prosecutors described a bill for statewide funding of indigent defense as “the greatest threat to the proper enforcement of the criminal laws of this state ever presented.” In 1995, the South Carolina attorney general criticized public defenders as “lobbyists whose only goal is to stop executions at any cost.” Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas argued in a 2018 ruling that the "expansive rights" granted in Gideon don't square with the original meaning of the Sixth Amendment.
Empirical research over the years has also shown substantial support among Americans for “tough-on-crime” policies -- and a connection between those sentiments and racial bias, according to a 2020 law review article by Michael O'Hear, a law professor at Marquette University Law School, and Darren Wheelock, a Marquette University criminology professor.
“One theory is people become punitive because they're afraid of being victimized and believe harsh punishment equals protection, but the research – ours and others’ – doesn’t bear that out,” O'Hear told me. “Punitiveness is embraced more as an expressive value, tied to political ideology, which is in turn connected to racial resentment.”
The Appeal: COVID funding being used to build jails and expand police.
In Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, Sheriff Ron Cramer announced a plan in the fall of 2021 to use $6.2 million in ARPA funds to expand the local jail, arguing that the expansion was needed to manage COVID-19 risks. David Carlson, co-founder of C.C. We Adapt, a local agency that provides peer support and mentorship, said the plan reeks of opportunism.
“There was no concern about COVID-19 for months into the pandemic, [and] now Sheriff Cramer is using social distancing as his reason for building out the jail,” Carlson said.
“It’s a money grab,” he added.
Detroit Free Press: Michigan municipalities to split more than $42 million from recreational marijuana tax revenue.
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