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Letter: Fallone to bring balance to court

4:46 PM, Mar. 15, 2013  |  Comments
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Our state has an "open meetings law," based on the principle that the public is entitled to be fully informed about public affairs; therefore, most meetings of most government bodies should be open to the public. The law also requires public notification 24 hours in advance of items to be considered at the meeting.

Surely, the law applies to the Legislature itself, doesn't it?

Everyone remembers the battle over the rights of public workers to organize and to bargain with their employers. At a critical stage of the legislative process, Assembly Republicans proceeded to a vote with less than two hours' notice, excluded all but 20 of the general public from the room, and rammed Act 10 that destroyed most public employees' unions through the committee, the Assembly, and the Senate. This, despite the fact that the open meetings law requires 24-hour notices, and the state constitution says that when the Legislature is in session, its doors must be open.

When the dispute came before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as it quickly did, the four conservative justices, Patience Roggensack among them, held that our open meetings law doesn't apply to the very body that enacted the statute. I don't know how Mr. Ed Fallone, candidate for the Court, would have voted on this case but I think he likely would have sided with the moderates.

Republicans control all three branches of state government (yes, the Court clearly is partisan!). I believe that replacing Justice Roggensack with a moderate jurist like Mr. Fallone would bring back a bit of balance to Wisconsin's government; and I will vote for him.

Richard Christofferson Sr.

Plover

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