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Elect JoAnne Kloppenburg To Stop Political Shenanigans On Wisconsin Supreme Court

April 4, 2016

The actual makeup of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court is highly important not only for the outcome of cases, but also for how it functions.

Given the attempts by conservatives at both the state and national level to stretch, manipulate, and torture legal reasoning it is vital that liberals and progressives get to the polls Tuesday and cast a ballot for JoAnne Kloppenburg.  The need to support Kloppenburg, an energetic and thoughtful candidate, is a no-brainer given the type of person she faces from competitor Rebecca Bradley.

Bradley keeps mentioning she is the only judge in the race with experience at all levels of the judiciary , and therefore better suited for the Supreme Court.   But she seems to forget that our long tradition in Wisconsin has voters respecting diversity of profession when voting for justices.

In our recent past the majority of those serving on the bench came from outside the court system.  As an example, it is clear that Justice Abrahamson is a remarkable member of the court.  Abrahamson practiced law for 14 years and was a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

On the conservative side an argument might be made for the legal mind of former Assembly Speaker of the Assembly Dave Prosser.  It is clear one can make a strong case for placing a candidate on the bench with real life-problem solving skills.

Kloppenburg brings remarkable skills along with decades of experience in government, teaching, and state bar involvement along with her service as being elected for the Court of Appeals.  Her involvement in a whole series of federal and state cases during her career makes her more than qualified for the job as justice.  The resume of Kloppenburg is simply stunning.

She was a graduate of Yale University who earned a Master in Public Affairs degree from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a JD from the University of Wisconsin Law School, Kloppenburg interned with Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and clerked with U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb. For two decades she served with Democratic and Republican attorneys general as a top lawyer with the Wisconsin Department of Justice. She began teaching at the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1990 and has served as a mentor with the Dane County Bar Association.

Meanwhile Bradley is known best for her vile written remarks that undermined women, ranted against gays, and scorned those with AIDS.  She has a large stain on her name, but should not be allowed to smear if on the state.  That stain will appear statewide should she be elected.

Bradley is also known for getting to positions only with the assistance of Governor Walker who always places partisanship over substance and merit.

The governor appointed Bradley, a supporter of his partisan campaigns, to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in December 2012. Walker appointed Bradley to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in May 2015. Walker appointed Bradley to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in October 2015.

Being so beholden to partisans is not in the best interest of our state judiciary.

Citizens deserve a Supreme Court that can be viewed as a fair arbiter on the big judicial questions that face the state.  Bradley has proven to be anchored to conservatives and special interest money.   Meanwhile we have seen too many political shenanigans created by conservatives over the past years to allow for another right-winger to be elected.  The removal of Abrahamson as chief justice sums up the level to which conservatives will drop for pettiness.

I  find it sad  that at a time when public approval of our government and public institutions are shrinking the conservatives on the Supreme Court seek to tarnish the court’s reputation.  That trend needs to be reversed and the way to start applying a remedy is by electing JoAnne Kloppenburg.

While this race seems to be tight I trust the better judgement of the voters will come forth like spring flowers and allow for a bright and reasoned justice to be elected.

Her name is JoAnne Kloppenburg.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2016 5:38 PM

    Thank you, Peter.

  2. April 4, 2016 4:56 PM

    Beautifully put. Let’s just hope that some of your conservative-leaning readers (hell, I used to be one of them) will listen to reason, or at least conscience, and not elect the bilious flaming bigotry of Rebecca Bradley to our state’s highest court.

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