Brian Hagedorn, a candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, once wrote on a blog that legalizing homosexual acts would lead to legal bestiality. The evangelical Christian also called Planned Parenthood a “wicked organization” that cared more about “killing babies” than “helping women.” (The title of that post? “Another reason why I hate Planned Parenthood.”)
Subtlety is not one of his strong suits.
He also said people who accept the Christian God are “better” than ones who don’t.
And — this went beyond personal bigotry — he said that it was up to individual states to decide the legality of prayer in school or Ten Commandments monuments outside courthouses. That went against decades of legal precedence and implied a complete misunderstanding (or denial) of the Establishment Clause.
He literally wrote “states can do whatever they want on religion and the federal government was not going to intervene” and that a “secular public sphere is not only not neutral, it is (and is in reality now) antagonistic toward people of faith.”
All of this called his judgment into question… which is a problem when the entire job revolves on his ability to be a good judge.
When he was asked about those blog posts earlier this year, his political adviser said his personal views wouldn’t affect his judicial work and that he would be fully “impartial.”
No one should believe that for a second, but his personal bigotry is different from his stated legal views on the First Amendment, so what about that?
In an email to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel earlier this week, Hagedorn said something to the effect of Hahahaha, I was just kidding.
The appeals court judge said he now believes the federal government has the authority under the U.S. Constitution to step in if it believes a state has gone too far in establishing an official religion or favoring one over another.
“Under current doctrine, it is clear no state may establish their own religion,” Hagedorn clarified in an email to the Journal Sentinel on Tuesday.
In a Tuesday email to the Journal Sentinel, Hagedorn said he no longer espouses his old views, even as he downplayed the significance of the issue.
“While this discussion is mostly academic, my position on incorporation of the Bill of Rights has shifted,” Hagedorn wrote, without specifying when this happened.
After lengthy blog posts explaining how little he cares about the separation of church and state and established legal doctrine regarding the First Amendment, Hagedorn just wants to wipe the slate clean without clarifying what changed, when it changed, or why it changed.
Which means he can probably just change back if he gets elected. What’s stopping him?
He is a legal disaster waiting to happen.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court currently leans conservative with a 4-3 majority. This particular seat would replace one of the liberal judges, so liberals are hoping Judge Lisa Neubauer defeats Hagedorn so they can simply maintain the status quo. The election is April 2.
(Thanks to Brian for the link. Portions of this article were published earlier)