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« Who Pays For WMC Watch | Main | WMC Speaker: "cheap skilled labor" - Go to Eastern Europe. Screw Milwaukee »

June 16, 2009

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mal

Via the Brennan Center, a couple of links on Caperton v Massy:

- http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2009/06/coping-with-caperton-a-conversation-with-tom-phillips.html

- http://www.moresoftmoneyhardlaw.com/news.html?AID=1453

"Caperton established a principle that is really important: There are constitutional concerns with a judge sitting in judgment of a case where a party is a significant donor. At some point, the support becomes so substantial and so overwhelming that due process requires the judge to step aside, even if neither the donor not the judge did anything illegal or even unethical. Until now, that was an unanswered issue. That's the most important thing in the case."
- former Texas chief justice Thomas Phillips, now a partner at Baker Botts.

paul

mal -- thank you for this great source and reference. It says it very well.

Mike McCabe

Esenberg is wrong in suggesting that the circumstances of the West Virginia case are so unusual that they are unlikely to be repeated anywhere. An eerily similar situation already has unfolded right here in Wisconsin in the Menasha Corporation tax case. WMC intervened on Menasha's behalf and submitted a "friend of the court" brief. After spending over $2 million getting Annette Ziegler elected to the court (http://www.wisdc.org/pr072307a.php), Ziegler provided the deciding vote in a 4-3 ruling and wrote the majority opinion siding with Menasha and overturning the lower court.

The end result of the ruling is a $300-million-plus corporate tax break. So in West Virginia, a CEO spends $3 million to get a $50 million judgment against his company thrown out. Here, a business lobby group spends $2 million to get a $300M tax break for its members.

We're going to see many more cases like this if something is not done to turn these Supreme Court auctions back into elections.

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