The importance of the upcoming WI Supreme Court race to Republicans

I am well aware that it is unkind – probably better described as perverse – to mention a Wisconsin election given all we’ve been through, but we have to talk about it.

April 2013, a simple four months from now, will be another Wisconsin Supreme Court race. You do remember how much fun the last round was, correct?

Justice Pat Roggensack is up for re-election. If Wisconsin wants to keep the changes our elected Republican Governor, Republican State Senate, and Republican Assembly have made and will make, Wisconsin Republicans have to flat work their butts off to keep this woman elected.

Yes, I’m going to be that blunt about it.

Infamous I-never-have-personal-conflicts-in-my-rulings Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi is considering running against Roggensack. That sets us up for another knock down drag out in a state-wide election.

Oh, prior to Obama’s trouncing in this state and the election of the first openly gay U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (I did that on purpose. It was discriminatory to label Baldwin “openly gay” prior to the election, but now that every national paper in the country uses it I can, too, darn it!) I would have said no chance of that. Roggensack is safe.

But I won’t say that now. With any luck Obama for America, the frankly amazing machine that put Obama back into the White House, will ignore this race. That might help. But don’t think for a minute it will be easy. There are still millions in union money that can pour into this state to support a candidate like Sumi.

Two predictions based on this election reality:

1) Voter ID and the second Act 10 ruling need to come out of the WI Supreme Court prior to the July 31, 2013 end of term, and

2) Don’t expect the WI legislature and governor to make any moves prior to knowing the outcome of that April vote.

Wisconsin, where we put the “fun” in dysfunctional politics. Be happy, though, there’s no Supreme Court Race in 2014 as far as I can tell.


  1. This is exactly why Roggensack is not qualified and why Ike Turner Prosser is such an incompetent fool.

    See as a progressive, I want every case before the Supreme Court to be decided on its merit and legality. You want ever case decided in your favor.

    We run candidates who we think will interpret the law to the best of their ability while you run candidates that will advance your agenda no questions asked….

  2. Funny. We? You? I thought these were non partisan seats! 😉

  3. I thought you dropped that pretense in the post:

    Justice Pat Roggensack is up for re-election. If Wisconsin wants to keep the changes our elected Republican Governor, Republican State Senate, and Republican Assembly have made and will make, Wisconsin Republicans have to flat work their butts off to keep this woman elected.

  4. You’re right. As I was drifting off to sleep, indeed I remembered that detail.

    However I also chucked to think of Maryann Sumi as one to “interpret the law to the best of their ability” in contrast to one who “will advance your agenda no questions asked….”

  5. if you look at their careers, you would see that is true….since Sumi was appointed by Tommy.

    Roggensack cant even remember a fellow judge getting choked

  6. That last half was a stupid retort, Jeff.

  7. No its a fact, Prosser choked a fellow judge and yet the righties on the board cant seem to remember it happening. They cant see a crime committed right in front of their nose and you expect them to serve honorably?

  8. Yep. You were there. You would know everything. BTW, Obama was born in Kenya, so there.

  9. I was thinking the same! They can serve as honorably as those who chose to make up the crime story in the first place. It’s about as factual as Obama being my personal friend.

  10. i didnt need to be there Prosser admitted it

  11. BrkdfldDad says:

    Prosser admitted choking a fellow justice? Now you are really making things up.

  12. You guys really do live in a bubble dont you???

    It’s as simple as that”. Justice Prosser then said, “Did my hands touch her neck, yes, I admit that. Did I try to touch her neck, no, absolutely not, it was a total reflex”.

  13. BrkdfldDad says:

    Bubble boy Jeff where does he admit choking her? That’s what you stated. Bend and twist it anyway you like, you lied.

  14. BrkdfldDad says:

    Wait, I bet you are the type that thought Pelosi’s “we need to pass the bill to find out what is in it” was a strong argument for passing Obamacare.

  15. I see Jeff is too chickenshit to respond.

  16. I didnt see anything worth responding too…

  17. Walt Blanchette says:

    Sure enough, Robert, little Jeffy got caught in yet another lie.

    What is sickening is that this sociopath is allowed on a school board. All the more reason to get out the conservative vote next year.

  18. what “lie” was I caught in?

    while not a loony righty, I will put my “conservative” record against anyones

  19. Nobody cares what you think, Simpson. When one of the most arrogant, pigheaded blogs disinvites you from posting for them, maybe the problem is you.

  20. What the hell are you talking about?

    I love anonymous cowards on the internets….

  21. Cool it or you all get canned.

  22. BrkfldDad says:

    “No its a fact, Prosser choked a fellow judge… …Prosser admitted it.” <— That, would be a lie.

  23. Outside of the bubble, putting your hands around a womans throat in anger constitutes choking…..

  24. Once again, in the one man bubble you are living in, you embellish what Prosser has admitted to, to serve your own needs. Please feel free to source where he ever says he put his hands around her neck in anger, and while you are at it you may want to look up the definition of ‘choke/choking’ in a dictionary other than the fictitious one that serves your needs.

  25. …crickets…

  26. Place your hands around some woman’s throat at work tomorrow Brookfield Dad.

    Let us know how that works out for you?

  27. Nice try to avert attention once again from the truth with a nonsensical statement. Pretty indicative of a failed argument.

  28. The truth is he put his hands in anger on his coworkers neck….i agree with cricket, you should try that and let us know how it works……

  29. Jeff – you’ve come to your senses! Your anger clouds your point and counterpoints. I never said he didn’t touch her neck, and I never said he was in the right. All I said was he never, and still no one has debunked my point, admitted he choked her. He said he reached out in a reflex, to deflect her clenched fist coming at her, touched her neck, immediately realized what he had done and pulled back. It’s that okay, no way. Did he choke her as you claimed, no way. Heck, look at Bradley’s account, even she states he didn’t grab or apply pressure. Calm down, listen to the opposing argument and stop flailing away at exaggerations to make your point.

  30. *coming at him…

  31. i was using his own words…who in their right mind has ever had a “reflex” that ended up with your hands around awomans neck? or should i say who that isnt an abuser of women anyway?

    As for the defending himself thats laughable. the story of the 60 yr old 100 lb raging supreme court justice charging someone with fists in the air was the end of any credibility that Christian Schneider had left!

  32. My only contention was/is, where did he ever say he ‘choked’ her, or for that matter did Judge Bradley say he ‘choked’ her. If you were using his own words, then record of that would exist somewhere, at least from the accusing side you would think.

    Frankly, the whole episode is despicable.

  33. Jeff – I have people making an as of themselves using my words all the time.

    Be better than that.

  34. i saw that today but not sure how it applies here

    i actually agree with BD the whole thing is a mess ….

    They act like a dysfunctional school board not the Supreme Court!

  35. Just make sure you are using the words you quote in context to best represent the argument.

  36. My preference would be to get rid of the entire dysfunctional lot and start fresh. The Court is an embarrassment. They do not deserve the respect implied in the position of Judgeship, and act more like bratty children fighting over who stared what. What a waste for Wisconsin.

  37. DICK STEINBERG says:

    why is a republican a better judgemthan a democrat, or vicem versa ? who can cite one case the incumbent authored with distnction? big money talks and big money elects not for the most qualified but for the best interests of the big money givers

  38. DICK STEINBERG says:

    sorru about the typos. those !@@##$%$%^&&* hotel computers

  39. That’s what you get for putting vodka in your Geritol. Lay off the hooch, Dick.

  40. It’s time to clean house on a number of judges. I wonder how much time I would get for choking a judge? There’s a few I’d like to choke 🙂

  41. The changes made by the Govenor and legislature this year have put Wisconsin on the right track. We have a surpluss – where before their changes we were billions of dollars in the hole. There is no doubt that this upccoming election is about the future of Wisconsin – let’s not derail the positive changes we have seen.

    Regarding some of the inane comments posted here – Prosser did not choke anyone – there were never any charges filed for a very good reason – the entire thing was a bunch of BS. IN fact if you look at who accussed Prosser of “choking her” and read up on her incredibly lack luster history and her insane rantings, you would no doubt choose to ignore the charges as much as the legal system did. Three words – consider the source.

  42. The very important points made above by RL are that the current court is a dysfunctional lot that has lost the respect of the people of the State, and, with few exceptions, are an embarrassment even to the legal community, regardless of their individual political preferences. Mr. Steinberg is also correct that we are no longer electing distinguished and/or qualified jurists to the highest court who will uphold the letter and the spirit of the law. Big money is electing those who will advance or protect their interests.

    Cindy and Richard evidently don’t give a damn about whether the incumbent is capable of correctly interpreting the law. They only care that she will blindly support the Republican position, regardless of whether it stomps on the protections established by the Constitution and 250 years of legal precedent.

    This is the unfortunate condition that Wisconsin has become. Too many just don’t care to follow the rules on a level playing field. They just want to win at any cost.

    I am a retired public attorney who worked for 35 years helping to create fair rules and working to enforce them. I did not always win in court, but I always felt a lot better about it when the judge heard every argument on both sides and then evaluated all arguments in a scholarly manner before deciding the case. On the other hand, I felt short-changed if the judge had a predisposition or had effectively already decided the case before it was finished. Everyone has their own opinions, even judges. But, judges that are beholden to big money special interests are not really judges, but advocates of those special interests.

    Even as a former prosecutor, I realized that bringing a case before a “hanging judge” who was was predisposed to favor the prosecution was not likely to result in justice for the defendant–so I’d willingly plea bargain a reasonable outcome. That’s what happens on a broader scale when the people and the legal system don’t trust the fairness of judges to decide cases on the merits. They try to avoid them, and that works great if they are on your side of the issue. But, having a fair and impartial Supreme Court all of the time would be much better for all of Wisconsin.

  43. Yes, that is a lovely ideal. Unfortunately, not one of the candidates on the list the 19th will provide what you seek. So, I’m sticking to my version.

  44. based on what Cindy?

  45. Randy in Richmond says:

    Much of this topic’s discussion illustrates that electing judges is anything but non-partisan. While there is no perfect method for choosing judges there are better paths to a judgeship then elections.

    You berate Cindy and Richard for supporting judges with a particular tilt implying it is a unique Republican position. That is anything but the case. But I do agree with your reference to “Big Money”. For instance Shirley Abrahamson received big contributions from the AFSCME, MTI Voters, State Employees PAC, WEAC, WI State AFL-CIO, and others in her last election. How can she not support, and lean toward, issues concerning these and other contributors. You are correct in labeling judges like this as advocates of special interests.

  46. Ideals are still valid considerations in this election. Determine which of the candidates are being supported by big money corporate interests. Then support one of the other candidates who best represents the ideal. In taking such small steps, we eventually reach the ideal of a fair and impartial judicial branch.

    One of my personal favorites, former President Dwight Eisenhower, famously recognized the importance of keeping the influence of corporate money and control out of the political process, much less in the process of selecting high level appellate judges.

    Of course, if you are a big money corporate interest supporter yourself, that limits the application of this simple test.