Thursday, May 8, 2014

Judge Randa Goes Rogue in Walker's John Doe Case

By Lisa Kaiser
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OK, I’m not an attorney. 

But I have a feeling that even seasoned attorneys will be having a hard time making sense of the new legal battle over the John Doe probe into potential campaign coordination violations made by Gov. Scott Walker and various right-wing organizations.

The most recent shot was fired by U.S. Judge Rudolph Randa, a Federalist Society member and guy who’s gone off the rails before, most notably in the case of Georgia Thompson, a middle-ranking member of the Jim Doyle administration. (Doyle, Walker’s predecessor, was a Democrat, of course.) Randa convicted her and sentenced her to federal prison on what the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals called “beyond thin” evidence.

The latest dust-up involves Randa and, shockingly, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Randa seems to be throwing a temper tantrum over the fact that the appeals court stayed his extraordinary decision to throw out the John Doe case and order to destroy evidence collected in it. You heard me—destroy evidence.

(Some great legal analysis can be found at Center for Media and Democracy’s blog by Brendan Fischer.) 

Now, Randa went one step further, declaring that the Doe prosecutors’ appeal of his order “frivolous” and, in at least once instance, “the height of frivolousness.”  

Like I said, I’m not an attorney and I’ll be speaking with legal experts to make sense of all of this.

But do you feel like the fix is in?

That Randa, an activist, radical judge, has gone rogue to protect his ideological allies? Doesn’t this feel way more personal to you than anything else? Is Randa poking a stick in the appeals court judges just because he can, and he’s just daring them to stop him?

 

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