It won't surprise anyone that I think the state Supreme Court did the right thing yesterday in rejecting the recusal standard proposed by the League of Women Voters and clarification of what, in and of itself, should not require recusal. The latter was, I think, required by what I think has been wildly irresponsible - and ideologically imbalanced - allegations and hints of bias from groups like the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and One Wisconsin Now.
So I am also sympathetic to Justice David Prosser's impatience with Michael McCabe. The problem is not simply Justice Prosser's understandable irritation at the partisan way in which WDC pushes its "reform" agenda, but the way in which WDC itself undercuts public confidence in the court by its cynical promotion of extremely naive notions about the way in which the process works.
There may be judges who would sell themselves for the price of a lawful campaign contribution or endorsement but I have yet to meet one. It is certainly the case that elected judges worry about reelection. One judge has famously referred to the subject as a crocodile who sits in the bathtub while you're shaving. You try to ignore him, but you can't.
But nothing proposed by LWV would change that. If it worked the way folks like McCabe want it to, it would hand judicial elections to incumbents and insiders. What it would really do is complete the process of handing them to independent groups.