By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — The liberal judge who has thrown Wisconsin’s upcoming wolf hunt into “mass confusion” a couple of weeks before it’s set to begin also blew through the constitution in denying the property rights of a former Public Service Commission member.
Dane County Judge Jacob Frost late last week issued a temporary injunction halting the hunt, asserting the season — created under Wisconsin law in 2012 — can’t occur until the Department of Natural Resources goes through a fuller rule-making process. Interestingly, Frost claims DNR has not followed the constitution. The hunt is set to begin on Nov. 6., less than two weeks away.
Hunter Nation, a gun-rights group defending Wisconsin’s hunters against an environmentalist-led lawsuit to shut down the season, has called on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to stand up for state law and immediately appeal Frost’s ruling to the state Supreme Court. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ DNR is conflicted, however, with a history of trying to delay the hunt or defying the wolf kill limits issued by the conservative-led DNR Board.
“The Evers administration and Attorney General (Josh) Kaul must stop following the marching orders of the radical anti-hunting groups that are trampling the rights of Wisconsin hunters, farmers, pet owners, and families,” Hunter Nation CEO Luke Hilgemann said in a statement last week. “State law clearly calls for a wolf hunt, and Hunter Nation will not sit by while the opponents of common sense predator management try to violate the constitutional rights of hunters in this state by denying that. We are reviewing our options for how to best continue the fight while Wisconsin’s hunters wait for the DNR to do the right thing.”
Frost, an Evers appointee, recently defied state law and trampled on the Fourth and Fourteenth amendments in siding with another group of environmental extremists suing to block a power line approved by the Public Service Commission. He signed off on subpoenas that would have forced former PSC Commissioner Michael Huebsch to turn over his cellphone and submit to an interrogation by the groups’ attorneys. Huebsch is not even a named litigant in the lawsuit against the Public Service Commission, which in 2019 approved the Cardinal-Hickory Creek line between suburban Madison and Dubuque, Iowa.
In August, an appeals court judge stayed the subpoenas and Frost’s order that Huebsch comply with them. Huebsch’s attorneys argue the subpoenas amount to an unconditional fishing expedition. The legal fight over construction of the planned $492 million power line goes on.
That case has the civil litigation feel of Wisconsin’s infamous John Doe investigations into conservatives, as a Dane County judge allows liberal special interest groups to go after the personal information of Walker’s former Administration secretary and appointee to the PSC.
Huebsch’s legal counsel moved quickly to quash the subpoena after Frost rejected Huebsch’s motion to stop the probe into his private records. Frost did allow a disinterested “third party” to rummage through the former commissioner’s possessions, but disinterested third parties in Madison — the pit of Wisconsin liberalism — are hard to come by.
Huebsch’s attorney did not return a request for comment.
Frost’s questionable and concerning legal interpretations should come as little surprise from a would-be judge who signed the recall petition against former Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
“Unfortunately, it is unsurprising that a Madison liberal activist judge has a track record of trampling all over our constitutional rights,” Hunter Nation’s Hilgemann said. “While it is clear that the law requires a wolf hunt, radical anti-hunting groups knew they could muddy the water with arbitrary and absurd rulings by deferring to this liberal activist judge.”
“Sadly, Wisconsin’s hunters are left with a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that is now controlled by anti-hunting bureaucrats who refuse to fight for our way of life. The real victims of this battle are Wisconsin’s hunters, farmers, pet owners, families and anyone who supports a balanced ecosystem with common sense predator management,” Hlgemann added.