Friday, December 9th, 2016

Sensenbrenner right on Butler appointment

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Like a bad penny former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler keeps turning up. Voters in Wisconsin rejected Butler in two statewide races, but still President Obama nominated him for the federal bench. The second time was even more remarkable as Butler was the first sitting state Supreme Court Justice to be voted off the bench in decades.

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner is correct in saying this is an appointment that never should have been made:

I’m disappointed in the process the Obama Administration and Wisconsin’s two Senators took in the nomination of Louis B. Butler to serve as U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Wisconsin. Under the Bush administration, we showed great care and concern for these appointments and worked on them in a bipartisan way.

“Senator Kohl and Senator Feingold sent this nomination to the White House with no input from individuals on the other side of the aisle.

“The fact of the matter is that Mr. Butler lost a state-wide election, held by the people of Wisconsin, to continue serving on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court. Now, the man who was voted off the bench in Wisconsin is being given a promotion, a lifetime appointment and a pay raise. This is another example of the mismanaged way Washington is working under President Obama. The people of Wisconsin deserve better.”

Becoming a federal judge should not be a consolation prize for losing an election. In 2000, voters preffered Diane Sykes ot Butler 66% to 34%. In 2008 he lost again, this time Michael Gableman 51% to 49% despite questions raised about Gableman’s campaign and the advantages of incumbency. If a state has twice rejected the candidate and his judicial philosophy, it’s not too much to ask that he not be appointed to a lifetime position where he will be no longer accountable to the voters.

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