Monday brought disappointment to Wisconsin liberals expecting proof that State Supreme Court candidate, Judge Michael Screnock, sold his judicial soul to the NRA to get its endorsement in the April contest. In an email to voters before the February 20 primary, the NRA said Screnock: “vowed to protect your firearm freedom.” Liberals argued that such wording suggested Screnock had made promises to the NRA on how he would rule on gun issues. Screnock’s April general election opponent, Judge Rebecca Dallet, used the NRA endorsement as fundraising fodder, suggesting Screnock would do the gun lobby group’s bidding.
On Monday, Screnock released the email he sent to the NRA that earned him their endorsement. Most media outlets have quoted from it. Here it is in its entirety.
I am running because I care deeply about Wisconsin and the rule of law. I was born and raised here, I went to school here, I raised my family here, and I have dedicated my professional life to serving the people of our state.
I am a Judge, and I have served as an attorney, so I know firsthand the importance of upholding the rule of law, protecting public safety, and respecting the Constitution and the separation of powers. I also know about the dangers of legislating from the bench.
Judges are not legislators, nor are we executives. Our job is to interpret and apply the law, based not on our personal or political beliefs, but by relying on statutes and the Constitution. Simply put, our job is to be arbiters of the law; not policy analysts or political activists. This of course includes the Second Amendment.
Unfortunately, my opponents do not share these views. They have called the notion of an impartial judiciary a fairytale, they have called the rule of law garbage, and they have pro-actively campaigned on how they’d decide specific cases if elected. These positions are not consistent with the judicial code of ethics, and they are deeply troubling.
Having an independent judiciary comprised of justices with an unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law, to recognizing and respecting the separation of powers, and to interpreting the Constitution as it was intended is critical to preserving and maintaining our democracy and our republic.
Citizens across the Badger State deserve the security and predictability of an independent, nonpartisan judicial branch. By electing me to the bench next spring, that is exactly what they will get.
On a personal note, I am a proud gun owner and enjoy carrying on our passion for the outdoors with my three adult sons.
The email deals almost entirely with upholding the rule of law, and mentions guns only in the closing. Compare that with the pre-release hyperbole from Dallet:
Dallet has used the NRA support of Screnock to raise money for her campaign. In a fundraising email sent Friday, Dallet said “common-sense gun restrictions are clearly constitutional.” She branded Screnock as an “extreme activist who has pledged to stand with the NRA over the people.”
Instead, the email reflects the judicial philosophy around which Screnock built his campaign. When asked by Media Trackers why Screnock initially refused to release the email, as had been reported, spokesman Sean Lansing says that was never the case. He says no media outlet ever asked before AP did, leading to Monday’s release.