Appeals Court Puts Brakes On Judge Who Shut Down Scott Walker Investigation

ASSOCIATED PRESS

One day after a federal judge dramatically shut down the secret “John Doe” probe investigating Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) 2012 recall election, a federal appeals court on Wednesday stayed the lower judge’s ruling.

As The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, the ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit provides a way for District Judge Rudolph Randa to reissue his preliminary injunction halting the investigation. But the higher court said the part of Randa’s ruling that ordered state prosecutors to destroy or return all material obtained during the investigation will remain stayed “as long as proceedings continue in this court.”

The John Doe investigation, a type of proceeding prosecutors in Wisconsin use to determine whether or not to charge a criminal offense, was focused on campaign coordination between Walker’s campaign and outside conservative groups. One of the groups targeted by the investigation, Wisconsin Club for Growth, filed a lawsuit to stop the probe — and Randa ruled heavily in the group’s favor on Tuesday.

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Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com
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