Further Consideration of WI John Doe Case at #SCOTUS Postponed to Later Date

John Elwood notes:

Finally – or should we say “fine-uh-leee!,” we have O’Keefe v. Chisholm, 14-872, which will not be considered at the May 1 Conference because it has already been rescheduled a second time. The petitioners are supporters of Wisconsin Governor and GOP presidential primary leading light/future also-ran (we at Relist Watch always strive for balance) Scott Walker. They claimed that as part of an investigation into Governor Walker, they were targeted for abuse and intimidation by the Milwaukee District Attorney. They sought injunctive and monetary relief under Section 1983 against the district attorney, claiming that the investigation was in retaliation for their exercise of First Amendment rights. The district court found that Younger abstention was improper and denied the district attorney’s claim of qualified immunity. The Seventh Circuit reversed, holding that the Anti-Injunction Act barred the claims while a state court proceeding was ongoing and that the district attorney was entitled to qualified immunity. The petition asks (1) “whether considerations of ‘equity, comity, and federalism’ insufficient to support abstention can override Mitchum [v. Foster]’s holding that 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is an ‘expressly authorized’ statutory exception to the Anti-Injunction Act;” and (2) whether “government officials may be held liable for subjecting citizens to investigation in retaliation for First Amendment-protected speech and association, particularly where non-retaliatory grounds are insufficient to support the investigation.


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