State Supreme Court Gives DAs Just 14 Days to Join John Doe

December 7, 2015

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In a terse order late on Friday, December 4, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court gave five district attorneys just two weeks to decide whether they wanted to jump into the John Doe II case.

The four conservative justices that make up the majority on the court wrote: “ IT IS ORDERED that if any or all of the district attorneys of Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Iowa, and Milwaukee Counties wish to request permission to intervene as a party for all purposes in the [John Doe II cases], such motion or motions for intervention shall be filed with the clerk of this court on or before December 18, 2015.”

This order was a follow up to the Court’s decision two days previously to fire Special Prosecutor Francis Schmitz.

Justice Shirley Abrahamson issued a dissenting opinion on this order, as she did on the prior decision.

She wrote that the two-week deadline is “unfair,” adding that it “does not appear to give the district attorneys sufficient time to determine what resources, funding, and staff are available to undertake intervention.”

And she said that this order and the December 2 decision to fire the special prosecutor “appear to raise the specter of unfairly undermining review of this court's rulings by the United States Supreme Court.”