Empower Wisconsin | Dec. 14, 2020
Jill Karofsky beclowned herself again last week.
The liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice defied legal logic and common sense in one fell swoop during oral arguments for a defining First Amendment case that could ultimately determine just how much power unelected health bureaucrats can claim during a health crisis.
Private religious schools and parents filed a lawsuit challenging Public Health Madison & Dane County director Janel Heinrich’s order barring in-person education for third-grade and older students in all of Dane County’s schools. Heinrich’s order was issued days before the fall semester began.
The consolidated complaint filed claims the order violated state law and stepped on their First Amendment rights of freedom of religion.
As Wisconsin Spotlight reported, Karofsky, who clearly sees no problem with the excess of government power in a pandemic (or anytime) as long as her political allies are in charge, didn’t know what all the fuss was about. Where’s the evidence, she asked, of students being disadvantaged by being locked out of the classroom? Her son goes to a Dane County school, he’s learning virtually, and he’s doing just fine.
“Where is the proof? Where is the evidence?” Karofsky shrugged.
The answer: Everywhere. Even big government Gov. Tony Evers after the better part of a year recently came to the conclusion that wholesale closing of schools just might not be a good idea. As have people not beholden to the teachers unions, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the American Pharaoh of infectious disease control.
Karofsky isn’t just uninformed on the law. She’s uniformed on the news. She ’s been here before, in recent oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging Evers’ statewide mask mandate.
She then proceeded to tell attorneys that schools in Dane County aren’t closed. She disingenuously chided conservative attorneys for their lack of strict originalist reading of the Dane County health order.
“No school was ordered to be closed,” the justice said.
Tell that to the students who have received a subpar education for the better part of a school year. Tell that to the students already struggling below the proficiency line who have fallen off the charts. Tell that to the parents who have had to make other accommodations or have had to become unpaid teachers’ aids while they work full-time jobs from home.
It was clear in her election campaign earlier this year against Supreme Court incumbent Dan Kelly that Karofsky was destined to be the biggest political activist on the bench. But she has proved to be equally obtuse.
Justice Jill Karofsky is a tool.
Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.