MADISON — At today’s Milwaukee Bar Association debate, Judge Michael Screnock was presented with multiple opportunities to commit to behaving ethically on the state Supreme Court. He declined to commit to recusing himself from cases involving his major donors at every turn.
Wisconsin’s largest corporate lobbyist, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, has spent more than $1.35 million in its attempts to elect Michael Screnock. This is particularly important because WMC and its member corporations frequently are party to cases before the Supreme Court. This spending would present Screnock with a massive conflict of interest should he be elected to the Supreme Court.
Throughout the campaign, Screnock has not committed to recusing himself from any cases involving WMC or its member corporations. He continued to dodge that conflict and refuse to do the right thing by recusing himself during the debate.
“Today, Michael Screnock demonstrated why he’s such a good investment for corporations and right-wing special interests,” said Melanie Conklin, spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “He could have promised the voters of Wisconsin that he would not hear cases involving major campaign donors, but he staunchly refused to do so.”
WMC is not the only special interest group whose support will cause conflicts for Screnock. Directly prior to the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, Screnock was endorsed by the National Rifle Association. In announcing the endorsement, the NRA said Screnock had “vowed” to uphold their extremist and deadly agenda.
“We have a right to expect that justices on the highest court in our state are impartial and unprejudiced when ruling on cases and they must recuse themselves to uphold that high standard,” added Conklin. “Any party taking on the National Rifle Association or Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce would naturally be skeptical of ever getting a fair ruling from a judge these groups paid millions of dollars to get elected.”