Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack has won a second ten year term. Roggensack handily defeated Marquette University Law Professor Ed Fallone in Tuesday’s election.
Roggensack will now likely be part of the court as it takes up divisive issues. Roggensack greeted dozens of supporters at Veranda in Fitchburg. She thanked those who worked on her campaign. It stressed her 17 years of judicial experience.
“I really think the voters got my message which was pretty simple, that if you want to do the work of a judge it’s nice to have done the work yourself before you decide whether someone else has been doing it correctly,” Roggensack says.
Roggensack says she’s proud she ran a positive campaign. While the race was officially non-partisan, Roggensack is generally viewed as part of the court’s conservative four-to-three majority.
Challenger Ed Fallone had the backing of many Democrats and some unions. Fallone spoke to his supporters at The Best Place in the Pabst Brewery complex. The Marquette Law Professor expressed concern during the campaign and Tuesday night, over what he calls the deep divisions that will remain on the court.
“This election doesn’t mean the debate over our issues is over. We still need to address the issue of campaign contributions in judicial races, we still need to address issues related to the discipline of our judiciary. The campaign may be over but the fight on these issues continues,” Fallone says.
Fallone stopped short of saying whether he’ll run for public office again. He says he hopes Roggensack will make good on her promise to issue a letter of public apology for an altercation between two justices. There were reports two years ago that Justice David Prosser put Justice Ann Walsh Bradley in a chokehold. Former Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske says challenging times lie ahead for the high court, and big decisions.
“Act 10 is going to work its way back up to the Supreme Court. There are going to be litigation over the voucher and changes in school choice, there’s going to be issues on voter ID and that’s going to work its way up, the mining law that has been so controversial in the legislative branch,” Geske says.
Geske says she too believes the court will have to work to restore credibility with the public. She says she’s surprised there wasn’t more interest in the race, but thinks people have grown weary of campaigns.