Gableman Biased in Gun Ban Case Against Madison?

September 13, 2016

Justice Michael Gableman

When Wisconsin Supreme Court heard arguments last Friday in a case against the city of Madison’s gun ban on city buses, one of the justices was in a compromised position. Michael Gableman, who did not recuse himself in the case, had received nearly $76,000 in outside campaign support and contributions from pro-gun groups.

Wisconsin Concealed Carry, which brought the case in 2014, argued that the state’s 2011 concealed carry law prevents the city from enforcing the bus gun ban. The group appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court after rulings by a circuit court and a state appeals court last year sided with the city.

Five of the court’s seven members are conservatives, including Gableman, who received nearly $73,500 outside election support from the NRA’s state political action committee (PAC) during his 2008 campaign for a seat on the bench. In addition, Gableman received a $1,000 contribution from the NRA PAC and a $1,500 contribution from the Wisconsin Concealed Carry Movement PAC during his 2008 campaign. Gableman faces reelection in 2018.

Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel sided with Wisconsin Concealed Carry in its effort to quash Madison’s bus gun ban.

Schimel, who filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the group’s case against the city, received a $1,000 campaign contribution in October 2014 from the NRA PAC.