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US high court won’t hear John Doe lawsuit (UPDATE)

By: Erika Strebel, [email protected]//May 18, 2015//

US high court won’t hear John Doe lawsuit (UPDATE)

By: Erika Strebel, [email protected]//May 18, 2015//

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The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear a lawsuit to block a secret investigation into whether the state’s campaign finance laws were broken during Gov. Scott Walkers’s recall campaign.

The lawsuit stems from political activity conducted by Wisconsin Club for Growth and other conservative groups during Walker’s campaign and whether the groups were required to follow state laws that bar coordination with candidate, require disclosure of political donations and limit how much money can be collected.

The investigation is stalled while the Wisconsin Supreme Court reviews three related cases. The state court is expected to decide on those cases in June. What they decide could halt the investigation for good.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied on Monday Wisconsin Club for Growth’s petition for a writ of certiorari.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in October reversed a ruling made by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa and remanded the case back to the district court with instructions that the case be dismissed and all proceedings left to the state courts.

“Wisconsin, not the federal judiciary, should determine whether, and to what extent, documents are gathered in a John Doe proceeding are disclosed to the public,” wrote Judge Frank Easterbrook in the court’s opinion. “… It is easy to file complaints and drop documents into the federal record, but overcoming a state law privilege for investigative documents requires more than that. Otherwise state rules would be at every litigant’s mercy.”


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