Wisconsin Supreme Court

Wisconsin voters will decide this spring who wins a ten-year term on the state Supreme Court.  This month in the primary, they will narrow the field from three candidates to two.  

They are:  Incumbent Justice Rebecca Bradley, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Joe Donald and Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg.  All three recently made their cases during a debate in Milwaukee.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday regarding who ultimately administers public education – the state superintendent or the governor.

The court is considering whether to overturn its own ruling from 20 years ago. It stopped then-Gov. Tommy Thompson from taking control of the Department of Public Instruction. Current state leaders have considered doing the same.

Rebecca Bradley via Facebook

On Friday, Gov. Scott Walker announced appellate Judge Rebecca Bradley will take the place of the late Justice N. Patrick Crooks on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Crooks passed away last month.

Gov. Walker said, "(she has) truly lived up to her promise to be a judge that demonstrates unwavering commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law in every case that comes before her."

Gov. Scott Walker will soon appoint a judge to serve out the remainder of Justice Patrick Crook’s term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Crooks died unexpectedly last month, just days after announcing he would not seek re-election in 2016. His death leaves Gov. Walker with the decision of whether to appoint one of the candidates to the court.

While it doesn’t happen often in Wisconsin, a governor appointing a state Supreme Court Justice isn’t unheard of. For instance, Marquette Law Professor Janine Geske was first seated on the court by former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Indiana University

This past Tuesday, Wisconsin voters approved a change in the state constitution. A day later, Wisconsin’s Chief Justice filed a lawsuit in federal court to halt the change, at least for now.

Then late on Thursday, a federal judge refused to block Wisconsin from enforcing its new amendment, while the legal battle proceeds. 

The amendment requires the state’s justices to select their chief judge every two years. For the past 126 years, the constitution assigned the job to the judge with the most seniority.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson has filed a federal lawsuit to ensure she's not immediately removed from her leadership position. 

She's named all six other members of the court and some state officials as defendants.

Abrahamson sued Wednesday, a day after voters approved a constitutional amendment that allows justices to select the court's leader.  For the past 126 years, the position has gone to the most senior member of the court.

Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, Facebook

Justice Ann Walsh Bradley handily won re-election Tuesday to another ten year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Bradley captured about 58 percent of the vote in defeating Rock County Circuit Judge James Daley.

In addition, voters approved a referendum that will allow members of the high court to choose its chief justice. Wisconsin’s judicial races are officially nonpartisan, but Bradley drew support from liberals while Daley courted conservatives.

In case you'd forgotten, tomorrow is election day in Wisconsin.  There are several items on ballots across the state, all of them involving the judiciary.

There are also a handful of local races in municipalities around Wisconsin.

But you'd be forgiven if you hadn't noticed the biggest race - that for Supreme Court justice. That's because the race between incumbent Ann Walsh Bradley, and Rock County Circuit Court Judge James Daley has been much lower-key than other such campaigns in past years.

When you vote on April 7, you’ll find two items on the ballot related to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The race for justice features Incumbent Ann Walsh Bradley and challenger James Daley. The second item will ask voters how the high court should select its chief justice. A change that would amend the state constitution.

On April 7, Wisconsin voters will elect a member of the state Supreme Court. The race pits Incumbent Justice Ann Walsh Bradley against Rock County Circuit Judge James Daley. We spoke with both judicial hopefuls about what they would bring to the court.

Bradley has been a member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court for 20 years. She says she’s seeking another 10-year term because she cares deeply about the people of Wisconsin. Bradley calls herself an unbiased judge.

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