Justice Bradley Got $20K from Safer-At-Home Plaintiff
Bradley got max contribution from one of the parties to a second lawsuit challenging the safer-at-home orders.
While the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in favor of Speaker Robin Vos and Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald in their challenge to the “Safer at Home” extension, the Court has been considering another challenge to “Safer at Home.” One of the individuals in that second lawsuit challenging Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home orders contributed $20,000 to a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice’s campaign.
Jere Fabick, of Oconomowoc, owner of FABCO Equipment, contributed the maximum $20,000 to conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley’s campaign in 2016 when she was elected to a 10-year term on the court. Rebecca Bradley is part of the high court’s 5-2 conservative majority.
Fabick, who is also on the board of directors of the Heartland Institute, a right-wing Illinois think tank, is a loyal GOP donor. Fabick contributed about $355,900 to mostly GOP legislative and statewide candidates between January 1994 and December 2019.
Fabick and Larry Chapman, a Pewaukee resident, filed a lawsuit earlier this month asking the court to restrict Evers’ extended stay-at-home order, effective until May 26, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. They claim Evers’ order violates their right to free speech, religious gatherings, and travel.
Chapman, who has contributed $5,550 to GOP legislative and statewide candidates since January 2006, has not made contributions to any of the justices.
Current recusal rules, which were fashioned with the help of business and real estate interests who spent millions of dollars to elect the conservative justices, do not require justices to recuse in cases where the parties contributed to their election campaigns.
Among the parties sued by Fabick and Chapman were three county sheriffs, including Eric Severson of Waukesha County, who contributed $134 to Rebecca Bradley’s campaign in 2016. The sheriffs’ lawyer, Samuel C. Hall, contributed $500 to Rebecca Bradley’s campaign in 2015.
The first lawsuit filed last month against Evers’ order by GOP legislators drew supporting briefs from dozens of special interests, including a handful that spent big money on outside electioneering or campaign contributions to support the justices’ past election campaigns.
On Wednesday, the court’s conservative majority ruled 4-3 in the first lawsuit to strike down Evers’ safer-at-home order.
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