It was a short-lived victory for targets of a secret “John Doe” investigation Wednesday after a federal appeals court stayed a Milwaukee judge’s decision ordering prosecutors to stop the probe and destroy any evidence they had collected.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa on Tuesday said prosecutors were improperly investigating conservative groups and individuals for exercising their constitutionally protected right to engage in so-called issue advocacy.

But a three-judge appeals panel in Chicago, acting on emergency motions that prosecutors had filed just before and after Randa’s ruling, found the judge failed to follow proper procedure in issuing his ruling Tuesday.

“Once a litigant files a notice of appeal, a district court may not take any further action in the suit unless it certifies that the appeal is frivolous,” the appeals judges wrote. “The district court failed to follow that rule when, despite the notice of appeal filed by several defendants, it entered a preliminary injunction.”

The appeals judges — Diane Wood, William Bauer and Frank Easterbrook — also nullified Randa’s order requiring the Milwaukee County prosecutors to return the evidence they had collected and “permanently destroy” all copies of it. The appeals panel said such an action “effectively prevents appellate review” and ordered that Randa’s “return-and-destroy” order be stayed pending further order of the court.

In their emergency appeal, the prosecutors also noted that the same evidence is at the heart of challenges to the probe pending in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court.

Randa’s preliminary injunction had halted the five-county investigation, launched in August 2012, into coordination between candidates and conservative groups during the spate of recalls in Wisconsin in 2011 and 2012.

The appeals court decision returns the case to Randa’s courtroom, where he must first rule on whether an emergency appeal filed by the prosecutors is frivolous. If he determines it is, the judge can re-issue his ruling. If he finds the appeal has merit, the stay will remain in effect until the appeals court can rule on the appeal.

Ruling ‘extraordinary’

Reaction to Randa’s ruling were strong, and mixed. UW-Madison law professor Ben Kempinen said Wednesday that the federal judge took the “extraordinary” step of stopping a state investigation even before charges were filed.

“I have never heard of another situation in which a federal judge has intervened in an ongoing state investigation of possible law violations,” Kempinen said.

Kempinen also said it’s highly unusual for a judge to halt an investigation before charges are issued. Questions about the legality of a prosecution generally are resolved after charges are filed or in a lawsuit after a case is concluded.

“Many persons subject to investigation claim police or prosecutors have exceeded their authority in the investigation of possible law violations and have violated their rights,” he said.

“In this case, the federal judge has ordered the investigation to stop before it is even completed based on allegations rather than findings of any improper government conduct.”

Prosecutors in the investigation agreed. Randa’s ruling has “far-reaching implications for criminal investigations in Wisconsin,” said attorney Samuel Leib of Milwaukee, who is representing the Milwaukee County prosecutors.

“For the first time, a federal civil lawsuit has been used to disrupt an investigation commenced by the judiciary of Wisconsin and sanctioned by the Government Accountability Board,” Leib said. “There is no reason that similar steps could not be taken to disrupt any other lawfully instituted criminal investigatory proceeding.”

A ‘nefarious probe’

But Washington, D.C., attorney David Rivkin, who represents Wisconsin Club for Growth and one of its directors, Eric O’Keefe, had called Randa’s decision “a victory for free speech.”

“For almost three years, the political left in Wisconsin, led by elected prosecutors, has been unsuccessfully trying to silence conservative voices because of their successes,” Rivkin said in a statement. “Since the left can’t win at the ballot box, they secretly resort to the illegal use of government power — ‘dark power’ — to go after those who do not agree with them.

“This nefarious probe had nothing to do with bringing more fairness to the political process. Judge Rudolph Randa and others saw this for what it was: pure political payback.”

Attorney Rick Esenberg with the right-leaning Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, said Randa’s intervention was justified because prosecutors were “using criminal law as a political weapon” that put people under a legal cloud for engaging in “constitutionally protected conduct.”

A spokesman for O’Keefe and Club for Growth said they did not plan to issue any statements Wednesday after the court of appeals decision was announced.

The decision is just the latest in a string of hot-button rulings Randa has issued since President George H.W. Bush appointed him to the federal bench in Milwaukee in 1992.

Previous decisions by Randa struck down the Freedom to Clinics Entrances Act, which prohibited people from blocking abortion clinic entrances; eliminated Wisconsin’s minimum markup on gasoline, which was meant to prevent stations from undercutting and driving competitors out of business; and declared more than $50 million off-limits to victims of clergy sexual abuse who were suing the Milwaukee archdiocese.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

You might also like

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Post a comment

GOOD DOG HAPPY MAN
GOOD DOG HAPPY MAN

"Frivilous it IS Yoda, preliminary injunction back in place." --- Judge Rudolf Randa.

Then again, it's only 10:22AM.

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

Read Judge Rudolph Randa's ruling

http://m.host.madison.com/wsj/read-judge-rudolph-randa-s-ruling/pdf_43d31567-cce3-5f73-bffe-1780efd583f4.html?mobile_touch=true

Harvey
Harvey

"“Since the left can’t win at the ballot box, they secretly resort to the illegal use of government power — ‘dark power’ — to go after those who do not agree with them."

O.K. That statement may me blow coffee out my nose. I guess "Voter I.D." laws pushed by Republicans slipped his mind. At least we know where he got the term "dark power."

'Dark money': California political watchdog slaps conservative groups with historic penalties"

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_24380009/californias-political-watchdog-slaps-conservative-groups-historic-penalties

Stuck In The Middle With You
Stuck In The Middle With You

After reading the conservative blogging backlash this morning it's an even better day to be a liberal. Thank you 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel comprised of 2 Republican leaners and 1 Democrat leaner.

snootyelites
snootyelites

For all practical purposes John Doe is still dead! The remand is customary as the judge has not yet ruled the original John Doe is frivolous. It's coming, hold your high horses. Randa is writing a compelling opinion on the friviolity of John Doe. That will hit final nail on the coffin. This only proves Randa still is controlling the case. Eventually 7th Circuit has to rule on the validity of Citizens United & McCutcheon that's when they will hit the Supremacy clause and the cremation ends.

"But the appeals panel stayed Randa's order stopping the investigation, saying he did not have the authority to do that because prosecutors had already appealed an earlier decision in the case. Randa could issue his injunction only if he certified their appeal as frivolous, and he never ruled on that point — though he wrote last week he was inclined to believe it is frivolous.

Soon after the appeals panel issued its ruling, the Wisconsin Club for Growth asked Randa to label the prosecutors' initial appeal frivolous and renew his order stopping the investigation. He could do that quickly if he is inclined."

snootyelites
snootyelites

LOL: My sources telling me Randa is planning on issuing an opinion on the frivolity of this Particular John Doe case in December 2014.

Enjoy your summer - don't forget to vote. Hope the Packer defense is all tidied up by then.

RACmoveToAmend
RACmoveToAmend

No it's not... it's been rekindled over on this thread...

http://host.madison.com/news/local/writers/jack_craver/rasmussen-poll-has-mary-burke-scott-walker-tied-in-wisconsin/article_822a65a6-aa0d-11e3-ba45-001a4bcf887a.html#comments

Beingbucky
Beingbucky

If JD2 hadn't found something, I doubt that the CFG would have hired all the high price lawyers and put the "secret" investigation on the front page. What was found? I have no idea, but I have hope that Randall won't prevail and we will all find out.

As for the prolonged nature of JD2, imagine the squawking if Indictments were issued against Walker or Walker's staff in the months before the election.

196ski
196ski

Be a little more objective.

If YOU were the subject of a John Doe you would hire the best lawyers you could afford. Innocent people are convicted all the time.

Sqauwk all you want, if an indictment is issued that means the proof is on the table.

The intent of a John Doe is to allow a judge to determine if a crime has been committed but also to protect citizens from frivolous prosecutions. Since there is no longer secrecy in the matter, put it out in the open if there is justification to continue.

Again, not defending Walker, defending the right of all of us to, innocent until proven guilty and due process.

denbar1948
denbar1948

And which first broke the secrecy part? CFG said they were a target. The investigate is still on because the 7th said he can't rule on the case until he disposes of the appeals. If he clears up the appeals and rules the same again it will be appealed. He if waits to issue a ruling on the appeals perhaps the prosecutors will seek to invoke obstruction of justice charges. Just a thought.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Randa's ruling to destroy evidence seems particularly strange, even for a state that is becoming stranger by the day.

davea
davea

Strange, but not surprising!

SpectreChief
SpectreChief

You guys know we are all on the same team? As long as politicians have us pointing the fingure at each other, they are robbing us our state and our country blind. There really isnt left and right, its us, politicians, and big money. To believe Walker has been a good choice for this state is to be very wrong, the only thing that grew was tax breaks for the rich, and walkers campaign fund.

Our political leaders should be the best this state and country has to offer. The very embodiment of our American values... not the money buckets looking to sell their power to the highest bidder. (equal on both right and left)

Nav
Nav

I am not a lawyer (nor do I play one) but I don't recall the Unites States Supreme Court banning John Doe investigations. Yes, there may be legal issues involving the first amendment, but if this case ever went to the US Supreme Court, it would have to decide it on the merits of THIS case.

I would be appalled if even the very Conservative Supreme Court made a decision that would, in effect, make John Doe investigations unconstitutional. In today's world when we are dealing in politics, we are inevitably dealing with corporations who fund political campaigns, and they cannot be viewed as having the same rights as individuals.

Cornelius_Gotchberg
Cornelius_Gotchberg

@Nav;

"I am not a lawyer (nor do I play one)..."

Whew! Thanks for clearing that up.

Maybe @larajon's opportunity (above) will help you secure the funds to attend Law School & pass the bar.

Just think; you could be guest legal analyst on the Big Eddie show and I could email you questions to throw you off...

The Gotch

GeorgeWBush
GeorgeWBush

"I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it...I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn't yet...I don't want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't -- you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one."

Lionhear
Lionhear

Randa's ruling isn't about the legality or not of John Doe investigations. It's about starting a John Doe investigation with no reason to shut up political opponents, and keep a dark cloud over the head of a Governor during an election year.

Nav
Nav

I think we need to put to rest the semantics about what evidence Judge Randa wanted destroyed.

The party who would know better, the appellate Supreme Court, decided that Jude Randa's decisions was far too reaching, and it immediately stepped in and said that the Judge cannot do that in the current circumstances.

I have no doubt that Judge Randa will now turn more creative and try to make the same decision in a more "acceptable" way, but he has lost all of his credibility now. We need a new Judge to handle that case.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

So, just keep finding new judges until you get your way? I don't think that's how things work.

truthzeeker
truthzeeker

Again, why the fear of this case coming to a conclusion? Afraid of what may be turned up?

The fact that Randa was going to destroy the evidence should raise all kinds of flags. Especially by you conservatives. That is if you really are a conservative, which I am beginning to doubt more and more.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

I never said I had any fear of it coming to a conclusion. I would actually prefer it if there was something to prosecute. If people are breaking the law and Walker had something to do with it, I would be fine with him being perp walked right into court.
The thing I wonder about though is why it has taken more than two years to "find" something, anything, that would lead to that. People should have the protection of due process and the right to a speedy trial if they are being accused of something. To me, and I am only speaking for myself, this looks a bit like a witch hunt. Storming peoples homes in the middle of the night, seizing their personal property and refusing to let them speak to their attorneys is troubling, especially because after reviewing whatever they were looking for there is still a lack of any charges being brought.

Plus, the way I read the Randa decision was that he wanted COPIES of the "evidence" destroyed as there would be no point in having those other than to distribute them so that people affected could be tried in the court of public opinion, which by reading the comments in this thread, could easily ruin innocent people. Come on, if the shoe was on the other foot or you were the one being wrongly accused of something you didn't do, wouldn't you prefer it if the "evidence" that they tried to use to ruin your name and life be kept out of the public eye? I know I would and I think you would too.

Bottom line, if the John Doe case actually has a case, bring it to trial, otherwise, open ended witch hunts are just that, witch hunts. I don't really want to live in a world where the government can keep open files and continue to harass people forever. The seems less democratic and more fascist or totalitarian to me.

koala
koala

Hog - I appreciate your point re the amount of time involved in the investigation. But I do worry that placing some (arbitrary) limit on the length of time allowed for an investigation would give an undue advantage to the best conspirators, the ones most skilled in covering their tracks. In the case at hand, I suspect (and clearly do not know) that the prosecutors have circumstantial evidence of illegal coordination between special interest groups and Walker, but that they had not identified who actually did the coordination. In that case, I can envision there being no witch hunt and there being justification for an extended investigation. And I can also imagine the Club for Growth etc. raising their lawsuit as a step to prevent themselves from facing felony charges in short order, as opposed to defending supposed constitutional rights. Hope you agree.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

Koala~ I understand what you are saying about the length of time and how an investigation should be allowed to run it's course. My caveat to that would be that the people conducting the investigation should have some benchmarks that they can show the court to justify keeping it going. If they don't have any evidence, then they shouldn't be able to continue indefinitely.

I am not an attorney, but I am fairly certain that it's a common tactic to file a counter suit if someone is accusing you of wrongdoing. I see this as something similar to that. Apparently, this judge has deemed their suit worthy of consideration, which may go back to the root issue of whether or not the John Doe investigation has anything to move forward with.

Also, as to truthzeeker's question of whether or not I am a conservative, I would say that I am conservative by Madison standards, but for the rest of the state, I am probably more of a moderate. I tend to be very liberal on social issues, but I also have a Libertarian streak in me that pretty much distrusts the government, even though I work for our state government. I would much rather limit the size and scope of our various governments rather than expand their purview.

College Didn't Take
College Didn't Take

How long did the investigation into Watergate take? Didnt happen overnight and THOSE Republicans didn't wine about it, as I recall.

Cornelius_Gotchberg
Cornelius_Gotchberg

@CDT;

"How long did the investigation into Watergate take?"

Longer than Benghazi thus far.

Here's hoping it finds the truth and finishes up the same way, with Hopey Changey resigning in humiliating shame!

The Gotch

GeorgeWBush
GeorgeWBush

What's the big deal about Benghazi? Take a look at my record. Now that's something to be be really proud of.

January 22, 2002. Calcutta, India. Gunmen associated with Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami attack the U.S. Consulate. Five people are killed.

June 14, 2002. Karachi, Pakistan. Suicide bomber connected with al Qaeda attacks the U.S. Consulate, killing 12 and injuring 51.

October 12, 2002. Denpasar, Indonesia. U.S. diplomatic offices bombed as part of a string of "Bali Bombings." No fatalities.

February 28, 2003. Islamabad, Pakistan. Several gunmen fire upon the U.S. Embassy. Two people are killed.

May 12, 2003. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Armed al Qaeda terrorists storm the diplomatic compound, killing 36 people including nine Americans. The assailants committed suicide by detonating a truck bomb.

July 30, 2004. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. A suicide bomber from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan attacks the U.S. Embassy, killing two people.

December 6, 2004. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda terrorists storm the U.S. Consulate and occupy the perimeter wall. Nine people are killed.

March 2, 2006. Karachi, Pakistan again. Suicide bomber attacks the U.S. Consulate killing four people, including U.S. diplomat David Foy who was directly targeted by the attackers. (I wonder if Lindsey Graham or Fox News would even recognize the name "David Foy." This is the third Karachi terrorist attack in four years on what's considered American soil.)

September 12, 2006. Damascus, Syria. Four armed gunmen shouting "Allahu akbar" storm the U.S. Embassy using grenades, automatic weapons, a car bomb and a truck bomb. Four people are killed, 13 are wounded.

January 12, 2007. Athens, Greece. Members of a Greek terrorist group called the Revolutionary Struggle fire a rocket-propelled grenade at the U.S. Embassy. No fatalities.

March 18, 2008. Sana'a, Yemen. Members of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic Jihad of Yemen fire a mortar at the U.S. Embassy. The shot misses the embassy, but hits nearby school killing two.

July 9, 2008. Istanbul, Turkey. Four armed terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate. Six people are killed.

September 17, 2008. Sana'a, Yemen. Terrorists dressed as military officials attack the U.S. Embassy with an arsenal of weapons including RPGs and detonate two car bombs. Sixteen people are killed, including an American student and her husband (they had been married for three weeks when the attack occurred). This is the second attack on this embassy in seven months.

"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office."

Comment deleted.
Cornelius_Gotchberg
Cornelius_Gotchberg

@truthzeeker (below);

"Still waiting Gotch!"

I know that Lefty INC has their you-know-what in a ringer; still no reason to lash out.

Hope your wait has been less "frivolous" than the stay?

http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/john-doe-investigation-halted-again-after-finding-that-appeal-was/article_209f57b9-80bb-5ec2-9bdc-90b7af1ac46f.html

The Gotch

WI_Expat
WI_Expat

Crow Barr miss the court decision part where it ordered original source documents be maintained, copies to be destroyed?

Nav
Nav

WI-Expat,

You are insulting the Judges on the Appellate Court when you say that. The Court of Appeals said that NOTHING is going to be destroyed...period unless and until Judge Randa comes up with a sound legal reasoning for same. And Judge Randa has to respect that decision.

snootyelites
snootyelites

Scary low information voters. Time to discuss document return and destruction! The judge was following Wisconsin John Doe statutes not something he made up!

Wis. stats 968.26(3)

"Subject to s. 971.23, if the proceeding is secret, the record of the proceeding and the testimony taken shall not be open to inspection by anyone except the district attorney unless it is used by the prosecution at the preliminary hearing or the trial of the accused and then only to the extent that it is so used."

You lefties are downright dumb. Can't read the law before accusing a federal judge of activism, corruption and nepotism. Time to retake GED.

denbar1948
denbar1948

Snotty, reread you own post when Randa ruled that is not the end of the case, it can and was appealed.

Wi_Expat, the Club For Growth were to get the records back and the other side was to destroy copies. We know how that would have turned out. I hear the shredders warming up now.

BRS
BRS

Just like the redistricting evidence the republicans were ordered by a judge not to destroy .

Jambalaya
Jambalaya

"O'Keefe and the Club obviously agree with Governor Walker's policies, but coordinated ads in favor of those policies carry no risk of corruption because the Club's interests are already aligned with Walker and other conservative politicians," Randa wrote. "Such ads are meant to educate the electorate, not curry favor with corruptible candidates."

Lol

snootyelites
snootyelites

Persuading voters to win elections are different from paying off politicians for quid pro quo or graft. That distinction is central to free speech and liberals don't get it.

Scary how liberal defenders of free speech transformed themselves into totalitarian thugs - Russian style, right here in Wisconsin!

John_Galt
John_Galt

Oh snooty, the liberals get it all too well, they have declared war on anyone that doesn't believe the same things they believe.

Despite their insipid bumper stickers to the contrary, they have no intention of coexisting, they wish to bury people like you and I with any means they can, legal or not.

Bushmaster
Bushmaster

Glad you got it Galt. By ANY means necessary. BTW...it was scandal walker who started this war by dropping the "bawm".. Remember?.

iponder
iponder

Return and destroy? Sounds like a cover up. Why does it have to be do embarrassing to be from a state that used to pride itself in open government?

davea
davea

Can't wait to hear Ron Johnson to add his two cents!

sriver
sriver

So, the Judge's wife works directly for one of the lawyers arguing the case before him and he didn't recuse himself? And since when can a judge order evidence destroyed before a case goes to trial? He could order it to be held secret, but not destroyed beforehand as far as I know. Something is really fishy here.

witness2012
witness2012

Not quite. Walker's attorney is Steven Biskubic and Mrs. Biskubic is Judge Randa's judicial assistant.

Definitely an opportunity to share information outside of professional channels, though.

truthzeeker
truthzeeker

Now that is an interesting observation. That is a real honest bunch of lawyers, I am sure.

Jambalaya
Jambalaya

Blagojevich was investigated for almost 5 years before he was indicted. 2 years later he started serving his 14 year sentence.

Jambalaya
Jambalaya

Judge Randa has no credibility remaining at this point. The reasoning cited in his opinion was ridiculous. "I order you to destroy all the evidence!" Good grief.

snootyelites
snootyelites

If you read the you know the ruling is based on Citizens United and McCutcheon.

Calling Judge Randa names or castigating won't get you anywhere. He is smart enough in his ruling that he actually challenged the 7th Circuit to overturn the law of the land namely the two cases. Either way the prosecutors and the entire John Doe investigation is irreparably damaged.

A circuit court of appeals will not usurp the law of the land. That's not to say it won't happen but then Will the Supreme Court overturn itself - no way!

7th Circuit will remand with conditions and the investigation continues or they simply deny prosecutors request affirming Free Speech violations and the law of the land.

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

I think that's probably right. The substance of the decision — that the conduct under investigation is now perfectly legal based on the Supreme Court's outrageous rulings in Citizens United and McCutcheon — will withstand further scrutiny, but that the "kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" approach Judge Randa took toward the evidence will get slapped down.

jenzut
jenzut

Either way, the longer this case runs, and the more coverage it's litigations receive, the dirtier it makes Walker et al look.....and he desperately needs independents in November. Meanwhile, Mary Burke doesn't even produce a whiff of anything illegal....

John_Galt
John_Galt

You may look at it that way, but many others look at this as a partisan witch-hunt and will vote for Walker just to slap down the liberals that are trying (and succeeding) to shut down free speech.

truthzeeker
truthzeeker

John_Galt below statement

If that is a reason to vote for Walker, it sounds like his bloggers are getting desperate. I would like to believe the voters are not that desperate.

Lionhear
Lionhear

jeznut, you hit the nail on the head. The whole purpose of John Doe 2 was to make Walker look dirty, and to keep up that appearance through the 2016 elections. If the Democratic DAs had proof of campaign illegalities, it would have been leaked by now through lefty media.

denbar1948
denbar1948

Citizens United and McCutcheon deal with donation limits mainly. What is not allowed is coordination with campaigns. Please stop the smoke screens.

G Gordon
G Gordon

For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the CRIMES they are a-changin'.

Beingbucky
Beingbucky

The only thing I can figure is that the John Doe 2 probe turned up significant WI GOP funding from overseas. What else could make Randa so jumpy?

snootyelites
snootyelites

Yeah Scott Walker was soliciting funds his great uncle in Kenya, his 2nd cousin in Punjab and his niece once removed in Shanghai! LMAO!

Did your hash oil pot blow up today!

Crow Barr
Crow Barr

snot---did you say "oil pot?" You bringing the Koch-ies into this discussion?

denbar1948
denbar1948

And your reply is based on what insider info? It may seem unlikely but you offer no prove.

Phil Ball
Phil Ball

Phil Ball

Randa, again, is going to get his little legal butt paddled by Justice Diane Woods. Remember her? "Thinner than thin"? She absolutely skewered Randa, Biskupic, in fact the whole wacko Wisconsin judicial infrastructure that jailed poor Georgia Thompson for just doing her job.
If this pack of legal jackals knew shame we would all be better off.
But they don't.
And they're back.
Randa, Biskupic and the Fried Lima Beans making up the majority
of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Jesus...

GOOD DOG HAPPY MAN
GOOD DOG HAPPY MAN

Phil Ball,

Sounds like you're still sore and angry about hizzonerdamare Soglin and Rowen Kryptonite bike-locking your little liberal furry head to a railing in Das Capitol, comrade.

Lighten up.

GOOD DOG, HAPPY MAN

Nav
Nav

Judge Randa has lost whatever credibility he may have had. The whole world now knows that he is actually siding with one of the parties to the litigation, rather than acting objectively.

Given this, is there anyway this case can be handled by another Judge? The Appeals Court does not seem very impressed with rash decisions made by this Judge. It is very rare that an appellate court acts so quickly on an appeal but clearly in this case it felt it had to.

Even though this is a John Doe investigation we know, from the events that have transpired, that the Conservatives are trying SO HARD to end this investigation and make sure no evidence comes out. I have a feeling that evidence uncovered so far, while incomplete. might have both state and national ramifications for the Republican party

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

Nav,
"Judge Randa has lost whatever credibility he may have had. The whole world now knows that he is actually siding with one of the parties to the litigation, rather than acting objectively."

That is partisan HOGWASH!!!!!!

Just how stupid do you think reader are around here? It is the freaking job of the Judge to choose sides in this kind of litigation - but of course when the Judge rules against your partisan opinion that Judge is not acting objectively! That is exactly what the opposing side could have said if the Judge had ruled the opposite way.

This nonsense needs to stop! If the prosecutors have prosecutable evidence then they need to perp walk the criminals out of their offices and prosecute them.

Nav
Nav

AllAmerican11B,

I don't know why YOU see everything from a political prism. You need to chill!

Of course a Judge will eventually side with one of the parties but THIS Judge has been making decisions that favor only one side (we know which side that is).

Thank God there is an appellate court that was able to quickly reverse a BAD decision made by a Rambo Judge. They knew the far reaching implications of this Judge's not well thought out decision.

My guess is that after having been had his hands slapped a few times by the Appellate Court, Judge Randa will be less Rambo like from now on and try to have some meat in his decisions!

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

Nav,
This may come as a complete surprise; but, the ruling decision was not reversed. A stay does not equal reversed.

As far as apartisan view, that is on you not me.

denbar1948
denbar1948

Actually AllAmerican11B is was reversed if you read the decision Randa did not rule on the appeals first therefor he can't issue a decision on the case. I see this going back and new Judge appointed.

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

denbar1948 (below),
"it was reversed"

This article clearly stated, "ordered that Randa’s “return-and-destroy” order be stayed pending further order of the court." that is not a reversal, at least not yet. Did you miss that part of the article?

"I see this going back and new Judge appointed."

Maybe so.


The article stated; "...a three-judge appeals panel in Chicago, acting on emergency motions that prosecutors had filed just before and after Randa’s ruling, found the judge failed to follow proper procedure in issuing his ruling Tuesday. “Once a litigant files a notice of appeal, a district court may not take any further action in the suit unless it certifies that the appeal is frivolous,” the appeals judges wrote. “The district court failed to follow that rule when, despite the notice of appeal filed by several defendants, it entered a preliminary injunction.”

My understanding of an appeal is it's an application to a higher court for a reversal of the decision of a lower court. According to this section of the article; an appeal can be filed prior to an actual ruling to prevent a judge from ruling in a case. What are they appealing if there has been no ruling in the case at that point in time? Something about this procedural rule, as stated above, that doesn't make a bit of logical sense no matter who is the Judge, plaintiff or defendant are. Using this "rule", as stated above, someone could prevent any judge from ruling on any case all the way up to the US Supreme Court, thus rendering all Judges irrelevant except the US Supreme Court.

davea
davea

Making decisions before seeing any evidence!

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

davea (below)
"Making decisions before seeing any evidence!"

What are you talking about?

wuffles
wuffles

I wish "Many persons subject to investigation claim police or prosecutors have exceeded their authority in the investigation of possible law violations and have violated their rights" could fit on a bumper sticker.

Stuck In The Middle With You
Stuck In The Middle With You

It's a great day to be a liberal.

John_Galt
John_Galt

Not really. Not if liberals ever wake up and finally see reality.

Roundtable
Roundtable

Ever since the conservatives won the majority in 2010, our little place in Heaven (Wisconsin) has been turned upside down.

Beingbucky
Beingbucky

Ps I am aware that Randa was stayed not overturned.

Wis_taxpayer
Wis_taxpayer

Scott Walker and the Republicans lose another one.... one of many!

Can't wait for the charges to come out of the John Doe.

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

Wis_taxpayer,
"Can't wait for the charges to come out of the John Doe."

What the heck are they waiting for; if there are criminals out there, they need to prosecute them. A fishing expedition that spends off of it's time throwing away dinner and starve while they wait for the trophy mount is nuts and irresponsible at this point. They better get their head out of their collective butts and get something done while they still can or just be done with the whole damn thing.

denbar1948
denbar1948

Bet Blago in IL said the same thing when it 4 years.

Beingbucky
Beingbucky

Snooty is now 0 for 2014 on judicial predictions. Voter ID couldn't be overturned because of Marion vs. Indiana. The MWK judge couldn't be overturned because of SCOTUS on McCutcheon. For someone who is always so cocksure, you sure are wrong a lot.

snootyelites
snootyelites

Never made prediction on anything except this one as the ruling exclusively relied on the two cases that make the law of the land.

Rest you are fibbing!

hombredeplato
hombredeplato

Hombre de plata

I agree with "Sad for the not wealthy". GOP wins the Limbo contest.

truthzeeker
truthzeeker

Pretty hard to beat a snake in that game.

Ignatz
Ignatz

I think Randa should be investigated for corruption himself. His ruling reeks. And why would you order the prosecution to destroy evidence?

thedudeabides
thedudeabides

Hey Lynne - Wisconsin has a long, proud Progressive tradition, including among Republicans sometimes. So, if anybody needs to go anywhere, it's the extreme right-wing nutjobs who need to get out of beautiful Wisconsin.

If the Doe probe is politically motivated, prove it. Just like the Doe prosecuters were trying to prove campaign violations. Until they were stopped.

Bucky01
Bucky01

Conservatives should be delighted by this ruling...a preliminary injunction from a lower court that could easily be overturned that also requires return and destruction of all evidence? Almost literally insanity. If the evidence was destroyed and a higher court overturned the ruling, how much more time and money would it take to recreate all the evidence? Let it get sorted out, and then talk about returning and destroying evidence...
There must be a big secret in there that govvie dropout wants to bury for good

196ski
196ski

"requires return and destruction of all evidence"

It doesn't say that. Property must be returned and all COPIES must be destroyed.

My take is that Judge Randa is saying that the process used in obtaining the evidence was wrong and therefore you, the prosecutor, have no right to have copies.

Once the John Doe investigation became public knowledge this whole affair came off the tracks. The reason for the John Doe instead of a regular investigation is secrecy, once the target was known, the accused, by law, could not defend themselves. I'm not looking at this as a Walker fan, I'm not, or as someone who doesn't support Walker but on the basis of innocent until proven guilty. This process, once public, turns this upside down and makes the accused guilty with no means for defense.

witness2012
witness2012

ski, in this case, the accused is hardly defenseless and the recent it has come out in the open is due to lawsuits filed by the targets of the investigation.

The targets knowingly gave up their anonymity in order to try to stall and halt the investigation and those efforts to stall are why the investigation has dragged on for this length of time.

Knowing now that Randa's judicial assistant is married to Walker's attorney, I'm wondering why he didn't recuse himself from this case.

There are many questionable things about how this case has proceeded, but stopping it cold before it is settled can't be right.

sgngracie
sgngracie

I agree that Randa should have recused himself based on that fact but it's not because I believe it's a conflict of interest.

28 U.S. Code § 455 - Disqualification of justice, judge, or magistrate judge

(a) Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

This section of the code goes on to give circumstances in which a judge "shall" also disqualify himself and I don't think this situation falls under those circumstances. Beyond that, I don't believe any judge would simply pre-determine the way they would rule on any case based on the fact that one of his staff members is married to an attorney on the case. So, in reality, I'm not sure what, if any, bearing that fact had on the case. HOWEVER -- we now live in a society where we demand instantaneous 24/7 information, but we as a society are generally uninformed beyond the headlines. For that reason alone, I believe Judge Randa should have recused himself to forestall any appearance of non-impartiality.

196ski
196ski

witness2012, I am not siding with anyone. I have seen no evidence and have no idea who would actually be charged and with what crime in the event the law was broken.

At what point, and two years is a long time, does the target of a John Doe get to push back? Innocent until proven guilty but as the target you are forbidden from commenting. Something about this, again, in general, doesn't sit well with me.

In the age of the internet their are few secrets. Anybody who frequents this site has been aware of this investigation almost from the time it began which is the exact opposite of the intent of the law.

gorman
gorman

And just WHO was it who revealed that they were the target of the investigation. NOW they claim that because the public knows they were one of the targets, their "free speech" has been infringed and they "couldn't defend " themselves. Pull your head out of your tookus for a change.

196ski
196ski

Classy gorman.
Once it's public then either make it a traditional prosecution or end it. If you read my post you would realize that I am not siding with Walker but am pointing out the flaw in a continued John Doe.

Maintaining the integrity of the judicial process is more important than the individual case. If they have broken the law, I have no idea because I haven't seen the evidence, nor does my opinion count, then the judicial process will see that justice is done and that is determined in a court of law by a judge or jury.

crushproof9
crushproof9

Never heard a Judge stopping an investigation. I mean at the end of the investigation, either you got some evidence and proof or you don't. Why stop it! Tax payers money? Thats not a good reason, find out if we have a crooked politician in the Gov. mansion. On the surface it looks suspicious. He may be cleared in the end, but stopping it is wrong.

ButSiriuslyFolks
ButSiriuslyFolks

Ummmmm...

If nothing that was done was "wrong", why is the "evidence" of complete UN-wrongdoing being destroyed?

I thought the right was all about government transparency? You know, make a searchable database of every recall signer kind of stuff...

I'd use the "c word" here, but I'm pretty sure it goes without saying. Besides, Gotch and Snoot will be along soon with their usual condescending flurry of talking points. avoiding the question altogether.

BENGHAAAAAAAAAAAAZIIIIII!!!!!!!

davea
davea

If nothing done was wrong, why not let the probe continue, and prove it?

GOOD DOG HAPPY MAN
GOOD DOG HAPPY MAN

I thought you were against invasive probes.

GOOD DOG HAPPY MAN
GOOD DOG HAPPY MAN

Only in the scandal-plagued, fever-swamp imaginations of the low-flow liberal lockstep lemming is defending free political speech and other 1st Amendment Rights not a big deal. They think Ben Gazi was the fella who starred in TV's original "The Fugitive" and they don't know why everyone's so pithed at him.

"The purging of political free speech in the public square is what led to the gulag and the guillotine." from Judge Randa's ruling. And that, my friends, is what it is all about.

Since SCOTUS rightly held for Citzens United vs. FEC and more recently in McCutcheon vs. FEC liberals have had their hempen homespun in a twist. They've been maligning truth and justice.

....... "What?!!!, Good Dog, do Proglibocrats hate freedom, too?!!!" Happ hazarded.

"Only when it is inconvenient to them, when Lefty sees the Constitution as a barrier to advancing their collectivist statist socialist agenda. Next, they'll go judge-shopping and try to find a judge not only willing to wear a robe, but a "Hulsey Ho-Maid DemonKKKRat Hood", too." Good Dog's hackles, dander and dauber went up, "Using the full weight of the government/media complex, the libs have tried to shut down conservative free speech. They're bad men. 'Shut up, Good Dog, they so kindly explained'."

"True-dat, dawg, ... reminds me of another big government scandal, the IRS targeting Conservatives." Happmann frowned, "Chief Justice Roberts said, 'the government may no more restrict how many candidates or causes a donor may support than it may tell a newspaper how many candidates it may endorse.' See, Good Dog, there is no arbitrary limit of free speech, especially political speech, either for an individual or a group. Understand, rubber band, ...what I said, Punkinhead, ...know the story, ... Morning Glory, There is no limit to our Constitutional Rights. 'Congress shall make no law, ....' And do you know why? Because those are real RIGHTS endowed to us from a higher power than any temporal government. They can't be taken away, abridged or restricted in any way. They are 'unalienable' because they are God-given ."

"Amen." Good Dog humbly bowed her head as Happ stepped down from his soapbox,
"Solid, mano, ... thanks."

MadCityYokal
MadCityYokal

Just take a step back from all of this. Both sides. Isn't this incredibly sad? Would you have predicted just how twisted things have become since Walker became Governor? The hate, the bile, the entrenchment. No, this is not the state I grew up in. I cannot wait for this era to end. Disgusting!

Lynne4300
Lynne4300

Would all liberals please move to Illinois.

nan3
nan3

As soon as all conservatives move to Texas or Mississippi.

denbar1948
denbar1948

Right behind but don't wait for me.

BRS
BRS

Why don't you move to Mississippi Lynne , you'd fit right in with those right wing nut cases and we wouldn't have to listen to your sickening "Thank you Snott Walker" any more . Do they pay $7.75 an hour to post here ?

Sad for the not wealthy
Sad for the not wealthy

Because in Lynne's monochromatic worldview, voices of dissent are not the basis of a healthy democracy, just a nuisance and impedance to doing whatever her corporate puppet masters tell her Wisconsin is to be used up for. If only your buddy Scooter could've taken his trusty Louisville Slugger into that crowd of non-violent protesters, eh Lt. Gov?

Cornelius_Gotchberg
Cornelius_Gotchberg

@SFTNW;

"...voices of dissent are not the basis of a healthy democracy, just a nuisance and impedance..."

Now THAT's rich; coming from a career Lefty.

@BRS &@nan3 (below);

RE: the references these poster make regarding MS & TX.

They do not in any way, shape, or form intend to insult any residents of those states that are Black, Latino (legal or not), Native Americans, the mentally impaired, or any other minority/victim group member (including ALL Lefties) and in some cases female.

This is pertinent because when you lump all those together, it comprises a goodly percentage.

So it's not like they're offending the whole state, which is how it reads without clarification.

They only intend to insult conservative White males (and some females). Extra smugly superior disdain points if they're religious and overweight.

Course, I could be wrong.

And they'd be welcome to come back and say that I was incorrect and that they DID intend to belittle ALL the residents.

Anxiously awaiting your clearing things up.

The Gotch

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

The judge said in the ruling, "...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."

As I understand this; that means that the investigators have to return all property (original records, documents, computers, etc) that they obtained during the investigation and any copies of original material they have to destroy. My understanding is that no one told them that the original materials used in the investigation are to be destroyed, the originals are to be "returned" to individuals or organizations. There is nothing to say that a new investigation cannot be started based on some new evidence down the road, they just have to cease the current investigation. If there is sufficient evidence to bring charges, they really should have done it by now.

My question regarding this process of returning property to the original owners and destroying any copies of originals; is this the "normal" process of ending a secret John Doe investigation, and do they do this to maintain the original intent of secrecy of the investigation? Once things become public records they are no longer considered secret and the documents can be obtained using the FOIA.

I said this in another thread, "Well it doesn't appear that they argued their case for continuing the John Doe investigation very well; sobeit. It's time to move on. The prosecutors need to present their actual evidence to a Judge, bring charges against individual(s), and prosecute people; get it done or give it up!" I stand by that comment 100%.

andyj196
andyj196

Richard - the investigation began 21 months ago! What else could the prosecutors possibly come up with if they haven't brought charges yet? There is no ruling of guilt or innocence, but a ruling to put an end to the chilling effect that the prosecutors have successfully achieved by continuing to drag this out when they apparently lack evidence of any wrongdoing.

Cowboy99540
Cowboy99540

Dear Poster:

What are you and your conservative brethren really afraid of, as we all know that unless it is a special prosecutor, with those special powers, a criminal investigation can go on for years before being concluded.

What is so unusual (to me as well as to others) and which draws so much attention is a federal conservative leaning judge, who's primary associate is the wife of a leading Attorney representing those being targeted has chosen to rule in such an extreme fashion.

Particularly regarding his order to destroy all the evidence gathered by the investigators thus far in this case is very unorthodox to say the least .

I think anyone who knows how the federal court system works, as it concerns cases being passed up for a lower court for a temporary remedy is looking at this Judge's ruling and asking, "why did he order all the evidence destroyed?"

That is a highly relative question that an appeals court might explore getting an answer to from the plaintiff, and if it's the 7th District of Appeals Court the plaintiff had better have a solid answer.

Cowboy

Cowboy99540
Cowboy99540

There are no statutes of limitations on a criminal investigation in to felonies. As a far as I know only the Special Prosecutor (Federal) has a time limit that can be imposed when the office is created to last only for a specified duration. Not so with an acting District Attorney who has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed in their jurisdiction.

That's why it is very unusual for any judge, state or federal, to step off into a matter like this before charges have even been brought against anyone. To preemptively come i and to shut down a criminal investigation already political in nature with so controversial of a ruling.

Apparently Federal Judge, Rudolf Randa likes stepping into a political mine field!

Cowboy

Winston Smith
Winston Smith

Thanks Obama.

John_Galt
John_Galt

Meh

davea
davea

Quote from Fox, for sure!

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

Any doubts that Wisconsin is the new Wonderland should be dispelled by this excerpt from the trial of the Knave for stealing the tarts:

‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first — verdict afterwards.’

‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’

‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.

‘I won’t!’ said Alice.

‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

So Judge Randa has issued the sentence — completely innocent, destroy all evidence, let all accused go free — in evident dread that the verdict might have turned out to be "guilty" if the proceedings had been allowed to continue.

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

RichardSRussell,
"destroy all evidence"

The judge did not say to destroy all evidence. Since you have done this multiple times I can only conclude that you are purposely misrepresenting what the judge said; to what end?

Cowboy99540
Cowboy99540

Dear Readers:


"The judge said in the ruling, "...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."


What is it that All America11B doesn't quite seem to understand in the above excerpt from Judge Randa's ruling?

Apparently RichardSRussell, "who by the way usually gets things right", didn't misrepresent anything.

Now did he?

Cowboy

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

Cowboy99540,
"Apparently RichardSRussell, "who by the way usually gets things right", didn't misrepresent anything."

No Cowboy99540, RichardSRussell and you are BOTH misrepresenting the judges words! I don't expect this kind of nonsense from Richard, he is intelligent enough to back off when he is dead wrong; on the other hand this is exactly the kind of nonsense I expect from you, it amounts to the equivalent of comprehension reading problems from a partisan wing-nuts.

Let me ask Cowbot99540 this question; what part of the Judge Randa's ruling does Cowboy99540 not understand? I'll answer that question; it's the part that that goes against his twisted view of the truth.

196ski
196ski

Cowboy99540
There is a difference between "destroying all evidence" and "permanently destroy all COPIES of information and other materials obtained through the investigation". (CAPS on copies is my edit)

The original property is returned to the owner, COPIES must be destroyed.

Mad-son
Mad-son

Semantics. What do you think the original owner, who had to give it up under subpeona, will now do with it? File it away again?

They will now destroy it of course, as after so much time, and dependant upon the subject matter, it's is unlikely to be needed again for any audits, and it is very, very hot. Note that their was no requirement that the owners not destroy it.

But any reporting that was done will likely have a copy on file with that authority, so there is that possibility....

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

Mad-son,
"But any reporting that was done will likely have a copy on file with that authority..."

Could you please explain what you meant in this statement; specifically on what you meant when you used the words "reporting" and "authority".

BRS
BRS

Did the republicans return the evidence on the redistricting the the judge ordered them to save or did they destroy it ? I guess we all know the answer to that , don't we .

gorman
gorman

And the "original copies" no doubt will never be destroyed. What a tool.

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

gorman,
"And the "original copies" no doubt will never be destroyed. What a tool."

That statement was lacking logic.

If the originals did not contain evidence that could be used to prosecute (which they must to, because they have not prosecuted) then there would be absolutely no reason to destroy them. Honestly, if the originals didn't have sufficient "evidence" to prosecute today, they won't contain additional evidence tomorrow to prosecute.

Try a different argument.

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

Typo correction from below...

(which they must to, because they have not prosecuted)

Should read...

(which they must not, because they have not prosecuted)

P.S. I know that is an assumption; but it is a "reasonable" assumption, prosecutors don't usually sit on prosecutable evidence without prosecuting. If prosecutors are sitting on prosecutable evidence and not prosecuting the "criminal", they are being irresponsible and should be removed from their position - period!

Cowboy99540
Cowboy99540

Dear Readers:'

Sad For the Not Wealthy said it straight and to the point.

That Scott Walker and his minions are on the run trying to stay one step ahead of the Grim Reaper and are indeed scared little rabbits weary of the hunter. It also stands to reason, that since Scott Walker was booted from Marquette University, because he was caught cheating, why shouldn't the special prosecution not be probing his campaign practices.
Practices that now suggest how Gov Scott Walker has never played an honest round of poker.

I honestly suspect that any cards that Scott Walker holds were dealt directly from the bottom of the deck and he is cheating again leading me to believe that this probe has the entire corrupt right wing infrastructure shaken to its core while reeling from the blows that were already delivered.

Another thought is how all these crooked republicans fit in together at, some juncture in this entire rotten process. And don't you know that it would be a shady political operative like this Eric O'Keefe fella, with his huge 501 money machine "Club for Growth" that we see going in and influencing Judge Rudolph Randa's decision that calls for measures that might be totally illegal.

Destroying evidence in any ongoing criminal investigation is a felony and the defendants have already filed an appeal in the 7th District Court of Appeals so it is only natural to assume that the appeals court has jurisdiction if it has decided to take up the appeal.

What I don't understand is why any sitting judge, federal or otherwise, would step into an on going special investigation that has already found a smoking gun to try and shut it down, which you would think is a really big risk for that particular judge?

The poster is probably right by declaring that this case is far from being over!

Cowboy

epic
epic

Is destroying "evidence" a felony if it is ordered by a federal judge? If they had any "evidence" of wrong doing they would have delivered by now. This is all about a long term smear leading up to the election. The orange t-shirt cult has been given some needed shock therapy on democracy and the Bill of Rights.

Veritas777
Veritas777

These prosecutors that aren't prosecuting (duh) have financially cost a private citizen $2 million................. ....................... ................ THIS is what democrats do.................. .................This is their war against anyone who may disagree with them, and the people of Wisconsin have had ENOUGH of their intimidation Gestapo tactics.

Cowboy99540
Cowboy99540

Dear Readers:


".This is their war against anyone who may disagree with them, and the people of Wisconsin have had ENOUGH of their intimidation Gestapo tactics."


Now ain't that a coincidence, because I thought it was the GOP who launched destructive wars against those who disagree with it especially Governor Scott Walker and his surrogates in the State Legislature.

The above poster is all mixed up, because Scott Walker and his cronies define the very term, " Gestapo tactics."

Nice try though!

Cowboy

Veritas777
Veritas777

Randa ordered prosecutors to destroy all of the evidence collected since the five-county probe started in August 2012 and threatened to find them in contempt of court if they didn't.............................. ................................ .............................. Hold them in contempt and issue bench warrants for their immediate arrest by the DOJ.

Crow Barr
Crow Barr

Republican mantra: Shred, shred until the county's red!

JUST US
JUST US

It is reported on a blog that Steven Biscupic, Walker's attorney who brought the case before Judge Randa, has his wife as the judicial assistant to Judge Randa. Anyone have any concerns about that? This seems along the same lines that the 4 conservative Supreme Court judges in Wisconsin passing a rule that because they received campaign funding from groups or individuals was no reason to recuse themselves from cases involving these groups. It seems like the outcome of any Doe probe regarding Walker has already been written.

Thanks4Act10
Thanks4Act10

Great appeal argument, "Uh, he said we had to destroy our ill-gotten booty (if there was any, which there probably is not, or it would have been leaked), but we don't want to because this is his "preliminary" decision. Libs - if this is his preliminary decision, what in the world do you think his final decision will be? Wow - you hate Walker so much, logic has left you.

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

Speaking of leaving logic behind, what part of "destroying evidence cannot be undone" escaped you?

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

RichardSRussell,
"Speaking of leaving logic behind, what part of "destroying evidence cannot be undone" escaped you?"

Do you realize that you are twisting what the judge actually said?

epic
epic

Are there any progressives in need of a tissue? Republican governor likely to win his third election. Republican legislature likely to stay Republican. U.S. Senate likely to become Republican majority. John Nichols having that third martini at lunch. I guess it goes to show you that you can't have a good old fashioned witch hunt like you used to. Oh well, there are "tiny" houses to build, white privilege conferences to attend, June is wedding month for the rainbow set, and always Birkenstocks to buy..... Life will go on.

GOOD DOG HAPPY MAN
GOOD DOG HAPPY MAN


epic,

Well-said and sadly true, dawg. Life in the People's Republic of Makistan will go on. Inside the Tofu Curtain, life is still like a bowl of cereal, what's not fruits or flakes is nuts.

And LIFE IS GOOD !!!

There's an epic smile on my face, a song in my heart. My spirit shines with goodness and mercy. I, too, am all about sharing the peace and love that comes with doing right, speaking truth and am happy to be able to live in the greatest country in the world.

Free hugs for all my Lefty Proglibocratic friends today. I'll lend you an ear, share a kind compassionate word of condolence and offer shoulder on which to cry. Tell it to your BFF Good Dog. Or, lay your burden down and take it to the Lord in prayer.

So, let it all out, you low-flow lockstep liberal lemmings, Lord knows you suffer long and mightily from the ravages of WDS, 'Crimea River', you Hate America Firsters, seek peace and lighten up, you Angry Blue-Fisters. But you got to change your evil ways, ... baby.

Truth is the home team and always bats last,

GOOD DOG, HAPPY MAN

witness2012
witness2012

I suspect the 7th circuit court of appeals will find for the prosecutors in their charge that Randa went too far in ordering the destruction of all evidence and telling the organizations under investigation that they have no obligation to cooperate with prosecutors.

Randa was premature and overreached when he issued those orders.

Cowboy99540
Cowboy99540

Amen!

Cowboy

jenzut
jenzut

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals blasted Judge Randa when he threw the book at Georgia Thompson. I hope they overturn this decision just like they did the Thompson conviction.

snootyelites
snootyelites

Dream On! In order for the 7th Circuit to overrule this case they have to overrule a recent Supreme Court ruling on McCutcheon vs FEC. It's simply not happening!

Randa followed the Supreme Court ruling on McCutcheon not on his assistant's supposed relationships.

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

Indeed, the substance of Judge Randa's order does indeed respect the Supreme Court's McCutcheon ruling, and that part of it will probably be upheld.

But the process he specified — destroy all the evidence, now, immediately, permanently, so nobody can ever look at it ever again — is way beyond the scope of what a preliminary injunction is able to do. A preliminary injunction basically says "Whoa. Hold everything. Nobody move until we can get this all sorted out." In that respect, he was indeed over-reaching. Any speculation as to why he would do so remains merely speculation, but this is not normal behavior for the judiciary.

snootyelites
snootyelites

You are profoundly incorrect. Wisconsin John Doe proceedings have only one purpose either prosecute based on evidence you obtained or if there is no probable cause you return stuff and destroy things in states possession. You can not release the info to impune someone or fall into wring hands. Otherwise state will be sued for damages.

patricko
patricko

No need to speculate, the judge explained in his ruling that the greater harm being done was the CONTINUING denial of free speech rights to Mr. O'Keefe and his political advocacy group. They have been silenced since the raids and would likely have remained so until the Democrat DA decided otherwise. He could have gagged them until December and simply removed them from the debate until after the elections. Does that matter? It makes no difference whether he eventually filed or dropped the charges later, the DA would have effectively shut them up for as long as he wanted, which I believe was his intent all along.

sgngracie
sgngracie

Except the "Democrat D.A." was not the one actually prosecuting John Doe II. He launched the investigation, yes -- but it was five D.A.'s total -- two of them republican -- who agreed it should be investigated. I'm certainly no expert on the matter, but as I understand Wisconsin's John Doe statute, the Judge has to approve everything in the matter. Whether the investigation should even be launched, if you have the evidence necessary, the scope of the investigation, etc. If you really want an eye-opener, go to CCAP and search for last name Doe, first name John, county Milwaukee and see exactly how often these proceedings are actually used. It isn't like this is sooooooooooooooooo unusual -- for those of us old enough to remember, a John Doe proceeding was used to investigate the Milwaukee Police Department in the Lawrencia Bembenek case.

And O'Keefe and the Club for Growth haven't abided by the gag orders thus far, so how on earth is the prosecutor supposed to "gag them until December?"

Lionhear
Lionhear

@patricko--Of course. It was meant to keep a dark cloud over the head of the Walker administration, and to intimidate conservative donors and activists.

Lionhear
Lionhear

That "evidence" was not Chisholm's et al property to begin with, and they had no right to remove it. It will be interesting to see what role the "black ops guy" at the GAB played in all of this.

Sad for the not wealthy
Sad for the not wealthy

This is far from over. Anyone pumping out their chest and blaring how either truth and justice were served or conversely, trampled...slow down. It looks like Randa's ruling is being contested with good cause. I think Walker is the scared rabbit, growing weary from running, but running with good reason from the corners he has cut and fair fight he has avoided. Don't get too self-congratulatory or smug just yet (Becky Kleefisch of Recall victory maturity, "Now thiiisss....thiisss is whaaat democracy loooks like!!!", we're looking in your direction).

And is feeling vindicated that a biased lackey of a judge moved with excessive haste to order evidence destroyed with other cases pending at all troubling to the contingent of WI voters that "Stand with Walker" regardless of of the societal harm? Maybe you should "Stand Trial with Walker" cause the wagons are a 'circlin'. Anyone concerned that Randa's judicial assistant is the wife of attorney for the defendant, good 'ol Steven "no conflict of interest here" Biskupic? I feel greasy just thinking about how pathetic and sold-out the whole lot of them are. Very little independent voice left at all anymore, and the GOP since 2010 have been defined by unparalleled greed, indifference and selfishness, no bar is too low. Limbo, we have a winner!