April 21, 2023
“WE DID IT – thanks to the tireless efforts of Wisconsin Moms Demand Action volunteers and help from supporters like you, Judge Janet Protasiewicz was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court!” the Michael Bloomberg/Everytown-funded group’s state affiliate crowed on Facebook.
In other words, it will be impossible for anything Second Amendment-related to get a fair hearing on an appeal. And don’t expect a doctrinaire Democrat gun-grabber to recuse herself based on conflict of interest. Ditto for any “conservative” issue, and in this case, it looks like abortion was the key driver. How it happened follows a well-established playbook.
The power of Astroturf
“Mega donors fuel over $40 million in donations for record-shattering 2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court race a few ultra-wealthy donors play an outsize role as liberal Janet Protasiewicz competes against conservative Daniel Kelly in the 2023 spring election for an open seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” Wisconsin Watch documented in a report hosted on PBS Wisconsin.
“Recent filings show a total of 41 individual donors wrote Protasiewicz’s campaign checks for the statutory maximum of $20,000,” the report elaborated. Among the numerous wealthy out-of-state donors, “$20,000 checks from Hollywood director Steven Spielberg and his wife, actress Kate Capshaw.”
That’s curious because “home rule” is a steady mantra with the citizen disarmament lobby, at least when it wants to eliminate state preemption and impose patchwork quilt prohibitions. The only time they keep quiet on home rule is when a widespread prohibition affecting everybody everywhere (in every town) is being floated. And they’re never shy about funding campaigns with out-of-state cash.
Spielberg’s involvement is also curious, because per a 2008 report in GQ, actor Shia LaBeouf revealed the director “has the most ridiculous collection. He's got a gun for every movie he's made. He buys old Perazzi guns, Italian—beautiful, beautiful guns—and gets them engraved. It takes like a year. He's got the Jaws gun; he's got E.T. He let me shoot with the Jurassic Park gun. He just got his Saving Private Ryan back from the engraver's."
If owning and being proficient with guns was all it took, we’d have no better friends than Lon Horiuchi and David Chipman.
Still, what’s with overtly partisan judges? Officially, the Wisconsin Supreme Court race bills itself as “nonpartisan” (wink). That’s why ActBlue, self-described as “a powerful online fundraising platform for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot, progressive organizations, and nonprofits,” hosted a WisDems donation page to “Contribute now to flip the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Judge Janet Protasiewicz needs our help to win our Wisconsin Supreme Court election! She's a progressive, pro-democracy candidate and our best chance at ensuring that a MAGA majority does not control this all-important court.”
Protasiewicz admitted as much on her campaign website, with support enticements for “progressive” voters such as “our most closely-held constitutional rights are under attack by radical right-wing extremists.”
Those rights, as evidenced by the Moms Demand endorsement, do not include the right of the people to keep and bear arms, because by garnering their enthusiastic support, she needs to be in lockstep with their citizen disarmament agenda. Democrats knew up front what they could expect. When the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes “Protasiewicz, 60, defeated Kelly after spending millions on a campaign largely focused on telling voters she supports abortion access, a partisan appeal to voters that was unprecedented in a judicial race before and forecasted how she might vote on a lawsuit seeking to repeal the state's abortion ban that's expected to land before the high court.”
“How she might vote”...?
This broadcasting of judicial decision intentions before hearing a case is exactly what doe not happen at the federal level, where as part of the ad]vise and consent process, the Senate Judiciary Committee defers to practices outlined in a 2010 Congressional Research Service report, “Questioning Supreme Court Nominees About Their Views on Legal or Constitutional Issues: A Recurring Issue.”
“Usually, when Senators at confirmation hearings have asked Supreme Court nominees to comment on topical legal and constitutional issues, the nominees have firmly declined to do so.” The report explains. “In those situations, the nominees typically have taken the position that answers to questions which convey their personal views would conflict with their obligation to avoid appearing to make commitments, or provide signals, as to how they would vote as a Justice on future cases.”
Such phony deference is smoke and mirrors, and Senate Judiciary Republicans allowing it are playing a fool’s game, in this case the fools being their constituents (and interest groups assigning political ratings) who won’t know when to hold a confirmation vote against them.
Think of one job you’ve ever applied for where you’d have gotten it if you decided to play coy with the hiring managers. While it may be “inappropriate” for a judge to weigh in on a specific case before confirmation — for legitimate reasons, including not having studied and evaluated all the particulars, evidence and precedents against the “supreme Law of the Land,” — there’s no reason why general principles of understanding should be off-limits. Such hearings are supposed to be, among other things, high-level employment interviews, not pre-coronation ceremonies.
Questions like “What did the Founders mean by ‘A well regulated militia’, ‘being necessary to the security of a free State,’ ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms,’ ‘shall not be infringed,’ [and] ‘how can past Supreme Court opinion specifying protected arms as those being ‘in common use at the time’ not apply to the types of firearms needed for militia service?” are all answerable by any moderately knowledgeable gun owner. How is it out of line to expect the “top men” ruling on it not to be able to answer them?
What to expect
You don’t need a crystal ball to know that Protasiewicz will side with the gun prohibitionist violence monopolists every chance she gets. The Democrat legal strategy by the states, as we continue to see it unfold in New York, California, Illinois, and all points “blue,” it to pass “in your face” edicts defying the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling and play the long game slugging things out in the lower and appeals courts. With virtually unlimited tax plunder from which to replenish their legal war chests, they can overwhelm and deplete the more constrained resources of “gun rights” groups that are dependent on small contributions from average members, with nary a Bloomberg or a Spielberg in the lot.
Much depends on how the Republicans fare in the 2024 elections. Based on the “red wave” that never materialized and the increasingly problematic candidacy of Donald Trump, with the added likelihood that the National Rifle Association’s legal and financial woes will severely curtail its influence, there’s every chance the next cycle will not result in happy gun owners. Add to that “Vichycons” like Tennessee Governor Bill Lee turning his back on is NRA “A” rating and folding like one of Wayne LaPierre’s cheaper suits after the Nashville atrocity to back “tightened” background checks and red flag infringements and look for a lot of bellies to have the fires in them doused.
Then it’s a matter of Democrats continuing to play the long game until such time as SCOTUS “conservatives” can be retired out (or replaced, if complaints against Clarence Thomas for unreported “favors” from a megarich friend can gain traction). They’ll ultimately have an unchallengeable majority if and when Chuck Schumer’s plot to build a -- forget “pathway” -- superhighway to citizenship for untold tens of millions of illegal aliens, aided and abetted by “cheap labor” Republicans, comes to pass, a threat every major gun group ignores using a disingenuous “single issue” excuse.
But wait! There’s more!
“The Wisconsin State Assembly has passed legislation allowing illegal-alien recipients of the unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to become law-enforcement officers in the state,” The New American reported in late March. “The vote was nearly unanimous, with only four representatives [all Republicans] voting “No.”
Firearms News reported on a Nevada bill that, if passed, will allow foreign nationals to become police officers there to make up for recruiting shortfalls. That means foreigners will be empowered to arrest American citizens at gunpoint on U.S. soil, acting as disarmament edict enforcers should any run afoul of Silver State infringements. Who needs blue helmets when Democrats can employ the equivalent of latter-day Hessian mercenaries?
Forget that Article VI of the Constitution requires “all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution.” That’s an impossibility for someone whose primary allegiance is to their native land. But at least in Nevada’s case (and California’s and Utah’s), they’ll presumably be here legally.
So, won’t that nip Wisconsin’s plans in the bud? After all, no less an “authority” than ATF cautions “The Gun Control Act (GCA), codified at 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), makes it unlawful for certain categories of persons to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition, to include any person... who is an illegal alien...”
They can’t be cops if they’re not armed, right?
You’d think. Except, according to a SymboliaMag report, “The Trump administration rescinded this policy in September 2017. The Department of Homeland Security issued guidance to federal law enforcement agencies on September 5, 2017, stating that DACA recipients are eligible to buy firearms as long as they are legally permitted to purchase them under their state or local laws. The guidance also stated that DACA recipients are not eligible to serve in any capacity with federal law enforcement agencies.”
So, look for illegal aliens armed with “patrol rifles” assisting with the confiscation of “weapons of war” from citizens entitled to have them once the Democrats think they have enough power to give it a try.
With all the leftists open borders gun prohibitionists who endorsed Janet Protasiewicz, guess which side she’ll come down on.
About the Author
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. In addition to being a regular featured contributor for Firearms News he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.
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