This time a State Supreme Court, in particular, Wisconsin’s. Recall that some rogue Democratic Party prosecutors in Wisconsin have been persecuting a number of Wisconsin citizens for the dastardly crime of supporting Scott Walker. Recall further, that the law under which this victims were being persecuted was claimed by those prosecutors as allowing them to silence their victims, even to the point of preventing those victims from speaking publicly about their persecution. Hence the term “John Doe statute.”
The Wisconsin Supreme Court took a dim view of such…shenanigans. Last part first: the Court ruled that the prosecutors 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.
If it had been me, I’d have required the prosecutors to post a substantial all cash bond against their performance of this requirement, and for 10 years thereafter against their continued performance, but I’ll take this. Still, I’d like the bond in light of the Court’s evident disdain for the prosecutor’s behavior:
…the special prosecutor relies upon, leads us to the unsettling conclusion that it is left to government bureaucrats and/or individual prosecutors to determine how much coordination between campaign committees and independent groups is “too much” coordination. In essence, under his theory, every candidate, in every campaign in which an issue advocacy group participates, would get their own John Doe proceeding and their own special prosecutor to determine the extent of any coordination. This is not, and cannot, be the law in a democracy…
The special prosecutor has disregarded the vital principle that in our nation and our state political speech is a fundamental right and is afforded the highest level of protection. The special prosecutor’s theories…would assure that such political speech will be investigated with paramilitary-style home invasions conducted in the pre-dawn hours and then prosecuted and punished. In short, the special prosecutor completely ignores the command that, when seeking to regulate issue advocacy groups, such regulation must be done with “narrow specificity.”
It is utterly clear that the special prosecutor has employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing. In other words, the special prosecutor was the instigator of a “perfect storm” of wrongs that was visited upon the innocent Unnamed Movants and those who dared to associate with them.
Another problem, though, is that this disregard for the law and for the speech of others isn’t limited to the Wisconsin branch of the Democratic Party.
The Court’s decision can be seen here.