WisDems: Michael Screnock still refuses to commit to recusing himself from cases involving his own campaign benefactors

Contact: Melanie Conklin, 608-260-2409

NRA, WMC and other right-wing groups see Screnock as a rubber stamp for sale
MADISON — Inexperienced Walker-appointed Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock has staunchly refused to tell Wisconsin voters whether he’d recuse himself if his special interest donors, some whom have already spent six-figures getting him through the primary, were involved in a case before the Wisconsin’s Supreme Court.

“Michael Screnock refuses to commit to the most basic standards of fairness and accountability we have the right to expect for Wisconsin Supreme Court justices,” said Martha Laning, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “Our state’s highest justices should be above reproach. Michael Screnock cannot claim to be impartial when a case in front of him involved a party who personally paid the downpayment for his seat.”

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) has been party to a number of cases before Wisconsin’s Supreme Court in the past 10 years. Screnock openly thanked that same Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce for having spent nearly $600,000 in his primary election. And yet, Screnock refuses to promise to recuse himself from cases in which WMC is a party. Instead, Screnock offers word games to voters, saying he will step aside only if he feels he cannot be fair — a standard he reserves the right to determine in his own mind with no consideration for the rigorous standards of justice Wisconsin once received before Walker began packing the Wisconsin Supreme Court with biased, partisan judges.

The day before the horrific Parkland, FL high school mass shooting, the National Rifle Association (NRA), endorsed Screnock, stating publicly that he “vowed” to protect its extremist agenda that does not allow for basic gun safety measures supported by the vast majority of Wisconsinites, including gun owners. Despite the NRA claim to have secured Screnock’s obedience, he refuses to preclude presiding over NRA cases. This is relevant as the NRA is currently suing the state of Florida because lawmakers passed common-sense, bipartisan gun safety legislation. That vow appears to commit him, if a similar case came up in Wisconsin, to rewarding the NRA’s support by ruling in its favor over the will of the people of Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, Screnock is dodging having to respond again to tough questions about rewarding donors by skipping debates and favoring private meetings with those funding his campaign.

“Wisconsin voters deserve an independent voice on the Supreme Court who will step aside if their biggest donors are involved in a case,” added Laning. “Screnock’s silence is assuring his donors he will commit to no such thing. If elected, Michael Screnock will usher in even more corruption to our state’s highest court with his blatant lack of concern for the integrity of our system of justice.”