A three-judge panel recommends the state Supreme Court dismiss a complaint which accuses Justice Michael Gableman of false statements in a campaign ad. The complaint dealt with an ad the Gablemman campaign ran, targeting then Justice Louis Butler during their 2008 campaign. The panel heard arguments in the case last month.
The ad focused on Butler’s time as a public defender, when he represented a convicted rapist. An attorney for the Wisconsin Judicial Commission argued the ad implied Butler used a loophole to get Reuben Lee Mitchell out of jail, allowing him to rape again. While Butler did win a new trial for Mitchell, the decision was eventually overturned by the state Supreme Court and he served his sentence, committing another rape after his release. Gableman’s attorney argued the ad did not state a connection between Butler and the second rape.
Gableman’s fellow Justices on the state Supreme Court will have final say over whether he will face any discipline over the campaign ad.