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Fed District Court reinstates injunction against Wisconsin “John Doe” anti-conservative probe

Fed District Court reinstates injunction against Wisconsin “John Doe” anti-conservative probe

Finds prior appeal frivolous and done in attempt to deprive District Court of jurisdiction to stop unconstitutional infringement of 1st Amendment rights.

In a post last night on the continuing legal saga of the Wisconsin anti-conervative “John Doe” probe, we noted that Appeals Ct stays injunction against Wisconsin “John Doe” anti-conservative probe

Last night we noted Fed District Court enjoins Wisconsin “John Doe” anti-conservative investigation.

Late this afternoon the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit issued a stay of the injunction, on procedural grounds which leave the District Court the opportunity to reinstate the injunction.

The issue for the appeal was that a “Notice of Appeal” of certain court rulings had been filed prior to the injunction being issued.  Once a Notice of Appeal is filed, it moves the case automatically to the Court of Appeals and the District Court no longer has jurisdiction, unless certain exceptions are met.

So the Court of Appeal basically said the District Court Judge didn’t have the case before him anymore, and couldn’t issue the injunction.

That key exception would be if the District Court found the appeal to be frivolous.

It just did, and reinstated the injunction in an Order issued today, which reads in part (full embed at bottom of post):

To be clear, the Court is absolutely convinced that the defendants‟ attempt to appeal this issue is a frivolous effort to deprive the Court of its jurisdiction to enter an
injunction. To recap prior proceedings, the Court allowed the parties to brief certain prefatory issues in advance of a ruling on the plaintiffs‟ motion for injunctive relief. The defendants raised a variety of issues in their motions to dismiss, including, for example, that the Court lacks jurisdiction under various abstention doctrines. See generally, April 8 Decision and Order. The Court rejected all of those arguments, and the defendants are entitled to pursue those arguments on appeal. The Court‟s forbearance in allowing the defendants to raise these issues cannot and should not deprive the Court of jurisdiction to enter an injunction in this case….

However, for the sake of completeness, and as requested by the plaintiffs, the Court finds that these appeals are also frivolous….

Therefore, the plaintiffs‟ motion to certify the defendants‟ appeals as frivolous [ECF No. 155] is GRANTED.

The Clerk of Court is directed to send a copy of this
Order to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Once again, the plaintiffs‟ motion for a preliminary injunction [ECF No. 4] is GRANTED. The reasoning in the Court‟s May 6 Decision and Order [ECF No. 181] is incorporated by reference.

Wisconsin John Doe Order 5-8-2014 Re Frivolous Appeal


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I’ll see your mackerel and raise you a halibut.

IANAL, and I could be reading too much into this, but it seems that the judge is a little bit *miffed*.

Ragspierre | May 8, 2014 at 4:49 pm

I think you can expect an appeal by the prosecutors of the “frivolous” certification.

Which…kinda ironically…imposes the stay again. This would prohibit (I think) the judge from enforcing his orders if the prosecutors defy them.

So…we go on…

Destroying the evidence is insufficient.

We need all these people hanging from ropes. This is a criminal enterprise to intimidate speech and political participation. It’s the stuff of Nazis and Communists and tinpot dictators.

    Ragspierre in reply to Estragon. | May 8, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    I don’t mean to pick on you, but you DO realize your positions are schizophrenic, right?

    On the one hand, you are so worried about precedent-setting in Lerner’s case that you would be frozen in place by fear.

    On the other hand, you want to hang dogs for barking in a perfectly legal…though corrupt and odious…way.

    I get the sentiment. I just don’t find your positions rational.

And the pucker factor rises! Randa’s not a wallflower. The Milwaukee DA’s office is in way, way over their heads on this one. Chisholm’s office now gets to wrestle two 900lb gorillas.

The plaintiffs ain’t exactly penniless commoners and you can bet cash is going to flow into WI to take the fight as deep as it needs to go. They’ve finally pushed the wrong folks. This is going to get interesting.


I think the injunction was modified (appropriately IMO) by limiting its scope to stopping further investigative proceedings to preserve the status quo pending appeal. The portion of the Randa Order requiring return or destruction of evidence is stayed pending appeal outcome. I would be surprised if the Seventh Cir allows any continuation of the John Doe investigation during the appeal process.

    Ragspierre in reply to Jim. | May 8, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Oh, I agree with a lot of that.

    I just don’t see these prosecutors giving up while they have procedural options. But I do think that everybody is in stasis, pending further proceedings.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Jim. | May 9, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    How do you stop political zealots such as these ‘rat prossies unless you take away their toys?

    The prossies won’t bring a prosecution or issue any subpoenas during this period, but they’re not going to stop investigating with what they already have unless it’s taken from them.

And I agree they ain’t giving up. From reading many of your past trenchant comments, I don’t think you would throw in the towel if you were in their shoes. I wouldn’t either.

The Milwaukee DA’s motto appears to be “The case is over when I say it is.”

My legal motto is “Anything can be brought to court and argued, your honor.”

Pushback: Lawmakers call for review of GAB’s secret John Doe activities, funds

Milwaukee County prosecutors, too, have refused to release the costs of their John Doe investigations into conservatives over the past four years. They have told Wisconsin Reporter those costs would be impossible to track.

Some of my lib high-school buddies’ heads are exploding now. Heh.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JerryB. | May 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Doesn’t WI have any sort of state auditor/bean counter office with the authority to demand all expenditure records to perform an audit?