shirley abrahamson
Press Release
January 19, 2015

GOP Puts ‘Supreme Injustice’ Partisan Power Grab on Legislative Fast Track

Changes to 125 Year Old Method of Selecting Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Would Inject Politics Into State High Court

MADISON, Wis. — Legislative Republicans have fast-tracked resolutions, Assembly Joint Resolution 1 (AJR 1) and Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR 2), to undo Wisconsin’s 125 year-old system of selecting the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court, with both the Senate and Assembly reported to be voting this week. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross termed the GOP move to meddle in court proceedings a “supreme injustice” that will inject politics where none are needed and reduce the accountability of the court to the public.

“The judiciary is a constitutionally separate and equal branch of government,” noted Ross. “State Republicans have no business injecting their politics and relentless pursuit of partisan advantage into our courts.”

Currently, and for well over a century, the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court has been selected based on seniority based on the provisions of Article VII Section 4 of the Wisconsin State Constitution.

State Legislative Republicans have introduced resolutions that could, if adopted, result in the removal of the current Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson. Court conservatives, who tend to align themselves with legislative Republicans, would likely choose her replacement from among their ranks. That would inject partisan politics where none are needed and create a situation where justices jockeying for power would be more interested in appeasing fellow justices and politicians rather than serving the public.

Of grave concern is that the state’s high court is being asked to consider cases dealing with the “John Doe” criminal investigation of illegal coordination between Gov. Walker’s campaign and outside conservative groups. As One Wisconsin Now earlier pointed out the conservative justices were elected by a coalition of big spending special interests that also support Republicans in elections and are subject of the “John Doe” corruption investigation.

Ross noted that the speed with which Republicans are moving to change the longtime method of choosing the court’s Chief Justice with Wisconsin lagging all Midwest states and much of the nation on jobs and wage growth and facing a $2.2 billion budget shortfall reveals the GOP’s misplaced priorities.

“No one – except maybe other Republicans and their special interest allies – are calling for more politics and partisan meddling in our courts. Our country’s founders set up the courts as a separate an equal branch of government to avoid just this kind political power grab. Wisconsinites and our democracy would be better served if Republicans would focus on more pressing issues like our stagnant state economy and fixing the budget deficit they’ve created,” concluded Ross.

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

dear democratic party abortion graphic
Press Release

Standing Up for Comprehensive Reproductive Health Care for Women

One Wisconsin Now has joined with fellow Progress Now affiliates in calling on the DNC to continue to stand strong on protection of abortion rights.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/19/2018
michael screnock and scott walker smiling together
Press Release

Team Screnock = Team Walker

Michael Screnock worked to defend Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda in court, now Team Walker campaigns for Screnock’s Supreme Court race.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/19/2018
wisconsin state capitol building at night
Press Release

Scott Walker to Call Special Session on Attacks on Poor, People of Color

Wisconsin Republicans led by Gov. Scott Walker announced a special session of the legislature devoted to renewed attacks on families struggling to get by.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/18/2018
UNSPUN Screenshot
In the News

UNSPUN: Democratic Win in State Senate Special Election

Analysts discuss the Democratic win in a state Senate special election and fundraising numbers for Wisconsin gubernatorial candidates.
WMTV-TV
01/17/2018
american flag
In the News

Wisconsin progressives need to build a bigger boat

The divisive, distracted, disappointing quarter century of Scott Walker as a Wisconsin elected official could mean progressives will need a bigger boat in 2018.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
01/12/2018
wisconsin capitol
Press Release

Scott Walker Hypocrisy Reaches ‘Biblical Proportions’

Scott Walker has failed to express remorse for his own appearance as a featured speaker sharing a stage with white nationalists at a conference three weeks ago.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/08/2018
scott walker
Press Release

Gov. Scott Walker Praises Creators of Student Loan Debt Crisis

Scott Walker, who opposes a common sense student loan refinance plan, is “honoring” one of the nation’s most worst actors in the student loan crisis, Sallie Mae.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/05/2018
adam jarchow student loan debt
Press Release

Rep. Adam Jarchow Stars as ‘Jar Jar Banks’ In 10th Senate District Run

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross suggested Rep. Adam Jarchow has earned the moniker “Jar Jar Banks” for choosing banks over student loan borrowers.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
01/05/2018