Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser was able to raise very large amounts of money during the recount that followed his very close re-election victory this past spring, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. And what's more, one of his key lawyers from that contest has pending business before the court.
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Due to quirk of state election laws, the candidates were able to raise unlimited donations from individuals for the recount. Prosser raised over $270,000 in all, though in fact he still has some debt to pay off. (The largest donations were $50,000 each from Pennisylvania conservative activist John Templeton Jr., and his wife.)
None of the big donors have any cases pending before the court -- but if they do come to the court in the future, Prosser would not be required to recuse himself. In a contentious case in 2009, the court's 4-3 conservative majority adopted ethics rules stating that campaign contributions alone are not enough to force a judge from a case.
More interesting, though, is that Prosser's bills included $75,000 to the law firm headed up by Prosser's recount lawyer Jim Troupis -- who does have a case pending before the court, challenging state regulations of political speech, which will be argued on September 16. And for that case, Prosser will not be recusing himself.