In his column titled “Sumi should not run for Supreme Court,” Reginald Young conveniently forgot in his rant against a “judge who has one party clearly and strongly associated with her” she was appointed in 1998 by then GOP Governor Tommy Thompson.
Most importantly, Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law states: “In conformance with article IV, section 10, of the constitution, which states that the doors of each house shall remain open, except when the public welfare requires secrecy, it is declared to be the intent of the legislature to comply to the fullest extent with this subchapter.”
I would also like to make a point about how our legal system works: Lawmakers in the legislative and executive branches make laws, then judges interpret the laws. When you say the court “made a mockery of the institution” I would say that you are entirely wrong and that instead, the Legislature and the governor made a mockery of the institution by not following proper process. Maryann Sumi, in light of the 60,000 or so protesters who showed up every weekend for a month, simply interpreted the law and the state Constitution, requiring that the decisions about Act 10 occur with the doors of the house remaining open.
I was extremely concerned about the manner in which Act 10 was passed, and although it would still be disappointing to me to see it passed with proper legal procedure in “broad daylight” rather than in a closed meeting after dark, it would be a lot easier to swallow if the Republicans of the state Assembly had the courtesy to face the Wisconsin public in an un-cowardly manner and pass it using the proper measures.
I am proud of Maryann Sumi for standing up for the rights and process outlined in the state Constitution and state statues, because even contentious laws need to be passed fairly. And because of this, I happily support her bid for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, should she choose to run.
Simple legal matters should not turn into partisan smear campaigns, even in the editorial section.
Matthew Hemke ([email protected]) graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in engineering mechanics in 2008 and is currently a special student in the School of Engineering.