Gavel Grab

Wisconsin Judge Gets Angry Letters and Emails Over Act 10 Ruling

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan B. Colas (photo) has received outraged letters and phone calls after ruling earlier this month against parts of Act 10, Wisconsin’s law that restricted collective bargaining for many public employees.

Judge Colas was accused of being a “cheap political hack for the Marxist Democratic Party” in one letter, and a “damned liberal activist kangaroo jurist” in another, reports the Wisconsin Law Journal.

Other angry individuals cited his race, and called Colas a “racist for belonging to the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association.” These comments followed in the wake of Gov. Scott Walker’s petition attacking Colas for his ruling (see Gavel Grab).

Chief judge of the Fifth Judicial Administrative District, Bill Foust, criticized the harsh responses to Colas’ ruling as well as Gov. Walker’s attacks on the judge.

“The judges that I know work hard and try to apply the rules of law to the facts at hand,” Foust said. “I think it’s unfortunate that the leader of the executive branch has so little respect for the third branch of government. People who work for the government should be respectful of our fellow branches of government.”

Lester Pines, an attorney representing labor unions in the Act 10 case, said that although he did not hold Gov. Walker responsible for the “racist sentiments” of callers and letter writers, he argued that Walker should be accountable for “his demagogic and unrelenting attack on the integrity of the judiciary.”

Cullen Werwie, a Walker spokesman, said that the governor still stood by Act 10 as a constitutional law, and that he was not responsible for the negative correspondence sent to Judge Colas.

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