It's been 10 months since Scott Walker dropped out of the presidential nomination race and the Republican governor has got his groove back doing what he does best: sticking it to the state of Wisconsin.
His latest efforts involve appointing a lawyer by the name of Daniel Kelly to replace outgoing judge David Prosser. The Journal Times described Kelly as a "dark horse" candidate compared with state appeals judges Mark Gundrum and Thomas Hruz. But Kelly has gotten the nod, which has led to scrutiny of some of his controversial views.
In a 2014 book chapter that he included as part of his application for the job, Kelly likened affirmative action to a kind of slavery. Here's how he put it.
Affirmative action and slavery differ, obviously, in significant ways. But it's more a question of degree than principle, for they both spring from the same taproot. Neither can exist without the foundational principle that it is acceptable to force someone into an unwanted economic relationship. Morally, and as a matter of law, they are the same.
In a different essay in his application, he also took time to rail against same-sex marriage, saying the Supreme Court's decision in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case "will eventually rob the institution of marriage of any discernible meaning."
In the name of fairness, we will, in time, recognize other nontraditional arrangements as 'marriages,' and you will — coerced by law if necessary — dignify them too. Finally, when marriage eventually means anything imaginable, we will find it means nothing at all. All because of an unruly fairness that aspired to the office of justice itself.
During a press conference announcing his appointment, Kelly brushed off challenges to his fringe legal opinions.
"The primary and only job of a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice is to apply the law as it is written and the oath that I will take will guarantee to you that my personal political beliefs and political philosophy will have no impact on that whatsoever," Kelly said. "Those things simply have no place inside the courtroom."
That's an interesting denial to make considering Kelly felt these opinions were germane enough to include in his application for the job. Or is it normal in the legal field to pack your resume with items that will not affect your future job whatsoever?
This is the same person who wrote that "morally, and as a matter of law" affirmative action and slavery are the same, and people are supposed to believe he's checking his awful opinion at the courthouse door? There's no separating the man from his lousy beliefs. Morally, and as a matter of law, they are the same.