MADISON, Wis. — Putting political advantage and cronyism before qualifications, Gov. Scott Walker announced today he has appointed Rebecca Bradley to the open seat on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. Bradley, an announced candidate for the court in 2016, has been appointed by Walker to the only other judicial positions she has held and was one of only three applicants for a position on the high court.
“Gov. Walker spent nearly every waking moment after his 2014 gubernatorial election until the unceremonious demise of his presidential campaign running for another office when he was supposed to be doing his job as governor,” commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “So it’s no surprise he’s appointing someone to fill Justice Crook’s seat who’ll be focused on campaigning for her election instead of doing her job on the court.”
Ross noted that Walker publicly telegraphed his intentions to appoint already announced high court candidate Rebecca Bradley throughout the abbreviated “application process” to fill the vacancy created by the unexpected passing of respected Justice Patrick Crooks, resulting in only three applicants, including Bradley. During the previous administration an opening on the Supreme Court and a fair and transparent process resulted in fifteen individuals submitting formal applications, nine of whom were interviewed for the post.
Bradley is closely tied to Gov. Walker and his political machine, having been appointed by Walker to the only judicial posts she has held. Her 2013 election bid to the Milwaukee County seat she was appointed to was overseen by a Walker administration aide and her campaign chair was none other than Michael Grebe, head of the right wing Bradley Foundation and chair of Walker’s gubernatorial and presidential campaigns.
Ross said, “This appointment is about one thing only, allowing Rebecca Bradley and the special interests who will spend on her behalf in exchange for her fealty to use the words ‘Supreme Court Justice’ in front of her name when they run their campaign ads.”
Walker and his allies have spent an estimated $10 million in recent years to elect a majority block of right wing justices to the state Supreme Court and even rammed through a change to the state constitution to change how the court’s chief justice is selected in order to install someone allied with their interests.
He concluded, “This is no way to run a state, and it’s no way to make sure justice is served on our state’s highest court.”