In Wisconsin, the politics got ugly. The WSJ has an update on judge who stopped one effort at trolling the opposition for something to label as criminal.
“John Doe probes operate much like grand juries, allowing prosecutors to issue subpoenas and conduct searches while gag orders require the targets to keep quiet. We wrote about the kitchen-sink subpoenas and morning raids by special prosecutor Francis Schmitz that targeted dozens of conservative groups that participated in the battle to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker (“Wisconsin Political Speech Raid,” Nov. 16, 2013).
“Now we learn that Judge Gregory A. Peterson ruled on Friday that at least some of those subpoenas were improper. They “do not show probable cause that the moving parties committed any violations of the campaign finance laws,” he wrote. His opinion remains under seal but we obtained a copy.”
“Democrats would love to intimidate and muzzle the local activists who rallied to Mr. Walker’s recall defense. And the subpoenas all but shut down these activists, forcing them to hire lawyers and defend themselves rather than contribute to the political debate in an election year.”
“The John Doe process has become a political weapon intended to serve partisan ends regardless of the law. Kudos to a judge who was brave enough to read the law and stop it, but there’s more free-speech defending to do.”
The Christie Traffic Jam is being compared to the NPS shutdown’s in October. Those activities are mild stuff when compared to political prosecutions and prosecutorial abuse. The use of the legal system to harass, intimidate, and distract seems to have no end. Even McD’s is being sued — again — for having coffee that is too hot. The long term implications for the legal system are not good.