(Madison) Today the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared unmanned ballot drop boxes illegal in Wisconsin, despite being an extremely safe and effective way to vote. Rep. Gary Hebl (Sun Prairie) released the following statement:
This ruling required an intentional misreading of state statutes. Extremist Republican operatives masquerading as objective jurists have completely abandoned the rule of law. We have seen both at the federal level, in Supreme Court rulings overturning Roe v. Wade, and preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting the environment. We have also seen it at the state level, with the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that unmanned ballot drop boxes are “illegal” and permitting ridiculous GOP gerrymanders.
Once upon a time, jurists were seen as umpires, simply calling balls and strikes, ensuring state and federal law were followed. No longer. Jurists at the highest levels have been picked for their loyalty to Republican ideology, and rule in favor of whatever outcome they think will benefit the Republican Party- whether or not it conforms to precedent or state and federal law.
For years, we have heard Republicans complain about “activist judges.” It is clear now they simply meant “liberal judges,” because we have seen an ever-increasing amount of judicial activism of late, and the Republican establishment has gone right along with it.
Courts were never meant to act as an unaccountable branch of government. Where possible, parties in power should ensure courts return to their intended purpose of interpreting laws- not becoming effectively law-making bodies themselves. These courts have gone completely rogue, and something must be done to reign them in.