Standoff at the Wisconsin Supreme Court
May 21, 2015
The latest from our Supreme court is from an article in the MJS that three justices apparently “boycotted” the swearing in of Marquette Law graduates due to the continuing argument over whom is chief judge.
As if the legal system did not have enough public perception issues, we need this?
It is a shame that Justice Abrahamson will likely be remembered as the judge who refused to step down.
There is a story that Alfred Nobel funded the Nobel prizes after reading a premature obituary which highlighted his discovery of dynamite. He decided that when he really did die, he did not want to be remembered for something destructive, but for something positive.
I have disagreed with many opinions written by Justice Abrahamson, mostly in criminal cases. I also have criticized the restructuring of the lawyer disciplinary system done under her watch. But while I have strong disagreements with her, at the same time, I have great respect for her. She is brilliant, caring and scholarly.
Much as she might want to stay as Chief, the voters have spoken – and spoken clearly. Even if she is technically correct that the new method of choosing a chief should not start until the end of her term (and I suspect she is not correct), the “cost” entailed by a justice suing her fellow justice is not worth it.
We are democratic country. We need to accept the verdict of voters whether we agree with it or not.
And we owe it to our profession to not make a mockery of it.