Hard to grasp that someone is “getting it right” for a change…
For Wisconsin prosecutors who won’t take a hint, subtlety doesn’t work. So on Wednesday the state Supreme Court rejected their motion to reconsider the John Doe probe of conservative groups, ordered seized documents handed over to the court, and terminated Special Prosecutor Francis Schmitz.
The Justices had already ruled the John Doe probe unconstitutional this summer, upholding John Doe Judge Gregory Peterson. But Mr. Schmitz seems to be a legal masochist, or maybe he believes his press clippings in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, so he asked to continue looking into campaign-finance “coordination.” The court found no grounds to reconsider its decision because it said Mr. Schmitz had “never provided any” evidence of “express advocacy coordination” between candidates and independent parties to the John Doe judge.
Mr. Schmitz previously said he might appeal the summer ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the High Court is unlikely to consider a ruling rooted in the Badger State constitution. Meanwhile, he has 30 days to notify anyone who had data or communications seized via Internet service providers under the John Doe. Many unsuspecting people may soon learn they were targets of the secret and abusive process.
We’re still hoping that Wisconsin’s courts will punish Mr. Schmitz, and his sponsors at the Milwaukee District Attorney’s office, for their illegal search and destroy mission. But at least they won’t be able to do any more immediate damage.