Wisconsin Voters Deliver Blow to Judicial Activism

Legal observers will surely take note of a recent election for the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. In a historic shift voters ousted Justice Louis Butler (nicknamed “Loophole Louie”) in favor of a pro-business district court judge, Mike Gableman.

It has been more than 40 years since a supreme court justice has been defeated and Justice Butler is only the fourth in the state’s entire history to lose an election.

The Wisconsin supreme court has gained national notoriety for its activist decisions. Among other things, the liberal majority embraced “junk science” in the courtroom and ruled that a lead paint manufacturer could be held liable for injuries even if the victims had not been exposed to the product.

Businesses, who were tired of the guilty-until-proven-innocent approach of the Wisconsin court, pulled out the stops with an advertising campaign that helped to sink the re-election of Justice Butler. The court now flips from a 4 to 3 liberal majority to a more conservative majority on most legal issues.

This is a great victory for those of us who value judicial restraint and this decision could have national implications.