Michael Gableman: Ryan Owens is the principled conservative for AG – Wisconsin State Journal

Apr 28, 2021

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NEW BERLIN — As a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, I took our freedoms and the rule of law seriously. I believed — and still believe — in the right of the people to chart their own destinies, free from government overreach.

These days, what concerns me is the knowledge that some officials in Madison and Washington want to erode our freedoms. We need strong leaders to step up and preserve those freedoms.

That’s why I support Ryan Owens for attorney general in the 2022 election. I’ve known him for years, and I trust him. He is not a career politician looking for a promotion. Owens is a constitutional lawyer and a professor. He remained a conservative throughout his time teaching at UW-Madison and Harvard.

He is a principled constitutional conservative, and he will be a strong attorney general.

Law enforcement needs our support. Our next attorney general must not only respect law enforcement but also stand up for them. Owens will be that leader. He listens, builds trust and acts decisively. He will give law enforcement and everyone in our communities a square deal.

For example, last November Owens outlined a crisis facing our state: We’re losing law enforcement officers and are unable to hire new officers to replace them. In response, Owens called for Wisconsin to “provide greater resources to law enforcement to help them recruit, retain and recover.” He outlined creative recruitment incentives to attract younger people to join the law enforcement profession and improve morale. He spelled out the crisis that would occur from defunding and losing the police.

I am convinced that front-line defenders — prosecutors and local law enforcement — will always have a seat at the table with Owens leading the Department of Justice.

Of course, protecting life begins well before the thin blue line. As the parent of a special needs child, Owens understands the value of life and the need to respect life where it exists. He will proudly defend legislation that protects the unborn and the fragile among us.

Owens believes that people should be able to speak freely and without reserve — and that those who seek to quash our free speech rights should be punished to the full extent of the law. And that includes Big Tech companies that want to use their leverage to tell us what to think. Owens believes that government must not intrude on the connection between people and God. He respects the First Amendment.

He’s a proud gun owner who respects the Second Amendment. He believes that citizens deserve fair elections, free from mischief. And he understands that the free market has provided more prosperity for more people than anything ever devised.

As a practicing lawyer, Owens worked to support startup companies who competed against monopolies. He was a voice for fairness against big interests.

When Dane County tried to shut down schools at the last minute for purely political reasons, Owens opposed it in the Wisconsin Supreme Court. When the Department of Natural Resources sought to extend its authority beyond state statutes, Owens opposed it in the Wisconsin Supreme Court. When a state government attacked the rights of the Republican Party to nominate its candidates as it saw fit, Owens represented Sen. Mike Lee and others at the U.S. Supreme Court to protect their rights of association.

He understands the importance of our traditional institutions. And he knows that government should let people live their lives free from overreach.

This is a critical time for our country. We need leaders who understand the Constitution and who have the backbone to stand up for it. Owens is that kind of leader. He is a constitutional conservative with unshakeable principles. He will work tirelessly to enhance safety, prosperity and freedom in Wisconsin.

That’s why I trust him always to defend the rule of law. It’s also why I’m excited to support Owens for attorney general.

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