Madison-A WI District Court Panel upheld a Dane County Judge’s ruling 3-0 today, that the arrest of political-talk radio host, Michael Crute of the Devil’s Advocates was Unconstitutional.
“I feel vindicated today, I’m 2-0 against Scott Walker,” Crute said.
“In his State of the State address, Scott Walker said we should stand with the French, stand for freedom of press, stand for free speech. But this Governor would arrest those that protest his policies. He would have arrested the media that tried to to expose those unconstitutional arrests,” Crute continued.
Crute’s case, had been appealed by the State of Wisconsin after Dane County Judge John Markson, who issued a scathing ruling against the State, dismissed the charge against Crute in January 2014 on free speech grounds.
Today’s ruling may be a significant setback for Gov Scott Walker and his Administration and become a distraction as Walker gears up for an anticipated Presidential run.
Walker will face further criticism if he chooses to have new Attorney General-Brad Schimel, appeal today’s loss to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Judge Markson’s initial ruling lead to several other Dane County Judges dismissing 253 other civil forfeiture citations, against anti-Walker protestors similarly cited. Other judges have delayed numerous cases awaiting today’s ruling.
Further appeal by Walker’s Department of Justice, could re-open hundreds of cases, with many defendants seeking jury trials at great expense of tax dollars and human resources to the State DOJ attorneys assigned the trials.
The ruling comes just days before Walker must present his budget proposal to address looming multi-billion dollar budget deficits in Wisconsin. The DOJ has come under criticism for failing to pursue credible accusations of sex crimes against children for lack of resources, while continuing to pursue the prosecution of protestors.
“Wisconsin cannot afford to continue to fight these petty, civil forfeiture tickets, issued against an expired emergency administrative code, ruled Unconstitutional multiple times, by more then a dozen judges at an expense that could easily exceed millions of taxpayer dollars,” Crute said.
“Why? So Scott Walker doesn’t have to admit he was wrong to have his palace guard arrest and handcuff peaceful protestors, simply because Walker was the target of their protest,” Crute added.
Crute was arrested, handcuffed, and processed July 24, 2013 after singing briefly in “protest” of the arrests he witnessed at the hands of WI State Capitol Police the first day of the crackdown.
More the three hundred other anti-Walker policy protestors, observers, and working media, were arrested and charged with a civil forfeiture ticket of $200.50 during the July to September 2013 Capitol Crackdown against Solidarity Sing Along participants.
Crute’s attorney, Jeff Scott Olson, will join the Devil’s Advocates at 5:05 today to discuss today’s ruling in detail. The Devil’s Advocates broadcasts weekdays 3-6 pm Monday through Friday in Madison on 92.1 FM, in Wausau on 1230 AM and Live streaming at www.darnwi.com.
Dominic Salvia, Crute’s co-host with the Devil’s Advocates was also arrested on July 24, 2013 while acting in his professional capacity as working media covering the arrests. Salvia’s charges were dismissed by the State, but Salvia also represented by Olson, is pursuing a Federal lawsuit against his arresting WI State Capitol Police Officers.