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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Rogue Judge

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 DOJ had warned Judge Sumi that it might seek her recusal from collection bargaining case. The next day, she issues ruling striking down law. Via Wispolitics:

The Department of Justice warned Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi yesterday that it may seek her recusal from the collective bargaining complaint because she filed a brief with the state Supreme Court last week taking positions in the case.

letter cites a Supreme Court rule that judges should recuse themselves from a proceeding in which they have made a public statement that "commits, or appears to commit" the judge to any issue or controversy in the case.

Last week, Sumi, through her attorneys, filed a brief with the state Supreme Court that argued an act of the Legislature can be voided through a violation of the state's open meetings law.

"This gives rise to the appearance that you have committed to an issue still pending," DOJ attorneys wrote. "Also, the decision to participate as an active litigant in the Supreme Court proceeding raises an additional concern to the extent you may now be considered adverse to the positions and legal interests of certain named defendants in the circuit court action."

The letter states DOJ attorneys do not wish to pursue recusal until Sumi had a chance to consider the situation and reach her own conclusion. But it asked her to advise the parties of her intentions before taking any further action in the case.

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