ON-Lion Letter
In a March 2007 white paper for the State Courts Project, Marquette University Law School adjunct professor Rick Esenberg offers a comprehensive, harsh critique of the legal reasoning behind several recent prominent decisions by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

"[A] number of the Wisconsin Supreme Court's recent decisions have involved an aggressive re-examination of legislative fact-finding or the rooting of a decision in facts that are controverted or outside the record," Esenberg concludes in "A Court Unbound?:  The Recent Jurisprudence of the Wisconsin Supreme Court."  Plus, "[w]e have seen the court engage in a judicial reformulation of legislation and adopt doctrine that it is unlikely to follow in future cases" (parentheses omitted).

Esenberg is the general counsel for a global manufacturing firm.  He graduated magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School, where he also edited the Harvard Law Review.
The State Courts Project is an effort of The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy in Washington, D.C., to which The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee has long provided substantial support.  The project brings balanced scholarship to bear on the public discourse about state-constitutional jurisprudence.  It has published analyses of 11 state supreme courts, all of which are available online.

The Wisconsin court "is at a critical juncture," Esenberg writes.  It "is now more or less evenly divided between two groups of justices who have dramatically different notions of the role of the judiciary."  He urges "a discussion about this important trend and ... a dialogue about the proper role of the courts in our state."
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