April 14, 2014

“Suit against Wisconsin ‘John Doe’ star chamber investigators can move forward”

Keep an eye on this one.  Because from a legal perspective, this is a no-brainer:  what we had in Wisconsin were Soviet-style investigations, intimidation, and prosecution, with the targets forcibly gagged under penalty of punishment.   The question is, how will the courts ultimately resolve what is, in fact, an actual civil rights suit — not of the kind brought by racial charlatans like Al Sharpton or La Raza or the more radical factions of the pro-Gay rights and establishment feminist movements (which aren’t about civil rights at all, but rather about legalizing special dispensation and enforcing social conformity, essentially, anti-civil rights causes hijacking the language of civil rights), but one that indeed speaks to the First Amendment and the individual.

From legal insurrection:

Right Wisconsin reports that the motions to dismiss were denied, so the lawsuit moves foward:

Eric O’Keefe’s civil rights lawsuit against prosecutors in a Democrat-driven John Doe probe into conservative targets will go on after a federal judge on Tuesday thoroughly denied a motion to dismiss the litigation.

Judge Rudolph Randa of the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, pushed aside the argument by the prosecutors-turned-defendants that federal courts generally must abstain from taking up federal constitutional claims that involve or call into question ongoing state proceedings.

The John Doe investigation, a multi-county secret probe into dozens of conservative groups, including conservative political activist O’Keefe and his Wisconsin Club for Growth, “does not fit into any of the categories” for abstention, the judge wrote in his decision.

“It is an investigatory process, not an ongoing criminal prosecution case,” Randa said.

O’Keefe and the Club are suing Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, his assistant DAs, Bruce Landgraf and David Robles, the probe’s special prosecutor, Francis Schmitz, shadowy investigator, Dean Nickel, and retired appeals court Judge Gregory A. Peterson, the presiding Judge in the John Doe.

The complainants charge that the investigation is nothing more than a partisan witch hunt bent on punishing Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his allies for his political successes, such as public-sector collective bargaining reform, despised by the left. More so, the investigation featuring what have been described as “paramilitary-style predawn raids” on the homes and properties of conservatives, has deprived the targets of their fundamental constitutional rights, particularly abridging the First, Fourth and Fourteen amendments.

Essentially the judge ruled that the star chamber “John Doe” investigation is just a fishing expedition, not an actual prosecution, and therefore does not have the protections from suit that an actual prosecution might have.

In this part of the decision, the Judge explains just how this star chamber acts:

Wisconsin?s John Doe procedure is an investigatory device, similar to a grand jury proceeding, but lacking the oversight of a jury. It is “not so much a procedure for the determination of probable cause as it is an inquest for the discovery of crime in which the judge has significant powers.” State v. Washington, 266 N.W.2d 597, 604 (Wis. 1978). “By invoking the formal John Doe investigative proceeding, law enforcement officers are able to obtain the benefit of powers not otherwise available to them, i.e., the power to subpoena witnesses, to take testimony under oath, and to compel the testimony of a reluctant witness.” Id.

It’s not like a Grand Jury, where prosecutors present evidence of a crime, or even an investigative grand jury, where there has to be some reasonable basis for believing a specific crime was committed by a specific person.

Rather, John Doe is a secret proceeding in search of a crime and criminals.

Which, let’s be frank, sounds like the entirety of our (increasingly armed) administrative state, who go after cows and puddles and toilets and even spilled milk — ironic, that last, because I grew up being told that there was no use in crying over such a thing.

— Though to be fair, nobody said don’t litigate against it in order to harass family farmers and maybe put them out of business, so Soros front groups can buy up and control US farmland.

That would have made for a rather long and awkward homily.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:49am

Comments (4)

  1. Speaking of “civilized savages,” this City Journal article (h/t David Thompson) will come as no surprise to anyone here.

    Chagnon spent decades studying the Yanomamo first-hand. What he observed challenged conventional wisdom about human nature, suggesting that primitive man may have lived in a Hobbesian state of “all against all”…. His work undercut a longstanding politically correct view in anthropology, which held that Stone Age humans were noble savages and that civilization had corrupted humanity and led to increasing violence. Chagnon’s reporting on the Yanomamo subsequently became unpopular and was heavily attacked within some academic circles.

    The idea that all war is a squabble over “stuff” is moronic. It’s always about control, regardless of whether “stuff” is involved or not.

  2. The Maya were thought to be wonderful pacifists until some a-hole went and found a mural of them torturing a sacrificial victim to death and obviously enjoying it. And putting alcohol directly in their colon to get super drunk almost instantly.

    Scientists are frequently making shit up and getting shit wrong and trying to stop others from pointing out their errors.

    It’s a thing.

  3. Dunno about stuff as such, but human things certainly do seem to begin with erotic sexual access [ “. . . abducted seven of their women . . .”] — in both directions — and ascend from there.

  4. Speaking about the post topic: I don’t unnerstan.

    I’m coming into the middle of this issue so I don’t know who the players are or what the suits are for or against.

    So hearing that a motion was denied or that someone is going forward means exactly zip to me.

    Sherpa notes, anyone?