DC Trawler

Wisconsin Supreme Court Ends ‘John Doe’ Witch Hunt Against Scott Walker

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If you don’t know how Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm (see above) has been abusing his power to harass supporters of Scott Walker, read this and this. Short version: A partisan Democrat launched paramilitary midnight raids on the homes of his political opponent’s allies, abusing his state’s “John Doe” laws, and then he threatened his targets with jail time if they spoke up about it. In the United States of America.

Whatever happened with that? This is what happened with that. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Dealing Gov. Scott Walker a victory just as his presidential camapaign gets underway, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Thursday the governor’s campaign and conservative groups had not violated campaign finance laws in recall elections in 2011 and 2012.

The ruling means the likely end of the investigation, which has been stalled for 18 months after a lower court judge determined no laws were violated even if Walker’s campaign and the groups had worked together as prosecutors believe…

Writing for the majority, Justice Michael Gableman found a key section of Wisconsin’s campaign finance law is “unconstitutionally overbroad and vague” and that the activities prosecutors had investigated were not illegal.

“To be clear, this conclusion ends the John Doe investigation because the special prosecutor’s legal theory is unsupported in either reason or law,” Gableman wrote. “Consequently, the investigation is closed. Consistent with our decision and the order entered by Reserve Judge (Gregory) Peterson, we order that the special prosecutor and the district attorneys involved in this investigation must cease all activities related to the investigation, return all property seized in the investigation from any individual or organization, and permanently destroy all copies of information and other materials obtained through the investigation. All unnamed movants are relieved of any duty to cooperate further with the investigation.”

In other words: Stop raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night for dissenting against your political beliefs, give back all that private property you stole from them, and stop threatening them with jail time if they stand up to your abuse of power.

As Gabriel Malor notes:

This decision does not punish the instigators of the John Doe II investigation, beyond tanking their reputations for pursuing what a concurring justice calls “a fishing expedition into the lives, work, and thoughts of countless citizens.”

I guess that’s something. But John Chisholm should be in jail for what he’s done. Or at the very least, run out of town on a rail. Good thing for him that he’s a Wisconsin Democrat.