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UPDATE: Group asks Supreme Court to stay out of John Doe case

UPDATED Monday, April 14, 2014 --- 2:15 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A liberal-leaning group has asked the state Supreme Court to stay out of a dispute over subpoenas in a secret investigation into possible illegal coordination between conservative groups and recent recall campaigns.

The judge overseeing the probe, Gregory Peterson, granted a request from Club for Growth members in January to quash five subpoenas. The special prosecutor leading the investigation, Francis Schmitz, has asked the 4th District Court of Appeals to review Peterson's decision. Republican Gov. Scott Walker's campaign attorney has asked the Supreme Court to take the case directly.

The court is controlled by a four-justice conservative majority. The group One Wisconsin Now sent a letter to the high court Monday asserting that Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce have spent heavily to support the four justices' campaigns.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Wednesday, April 9, 2014 --- 10:37 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal judge in Milwaukee says a lawsuit seeking to stop a secret investigation into possible illegal coordination between conservative groups and recent recall campaigns can continue.

The conservative organization Club for Growth filed a federal lawsuit in February arguing the probe amounts to harassment and violates conservatives' free speech rights.

The prosecutors leading the investigation asked U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa to dismiss the suit, arguing federal courts should stay out of the case.

Randa refused the request Tuesday, concluding that key First Amendment rights are at stake in the case and Club for Growth has standing to bring a lawsuit. The judge also noted prosecutors wouldn't be immune from an injunction halting the investigation.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 --- 1:13 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Club for Growth and its director have filed a federal lawsuit to end a secret investigation targeting that conservative group and other similar organizations related to fundraising and spending in recall elections.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee against federal prosecutors and the judge overseeing on the ongoing John Doe probe.

Wisconsin Club for Growth, and its director Eric O'Keefe, argue that the investigation is a violation of their free speech rights as well as their constitutional right to free assembly and equal protection.

The lawsuit, which has several sections redacted in the public file, asks the court to issue injunctions to stop the investigation and award damages to O'Keefe and Club for Growth as determined following a jury trial.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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