Epic Fail: Efforts To Smear Justice Roggensack Fall Flat
Every time you start to lose faith in the electoral process, voters rise up and get it right!
Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack ran first in a three-way Primary. That Roggensack won is not surprising. That she pulled in over 64% of the vote should also not be surprising - but is nevertheless encouraging.
Justice Roggensack is one of Wisconsin's truly bright legal lights. Whether or not you believe the Wisconsin State Supreme Court is dysfunctional, any "dysfunction" is not because of Justice Roggensack.
Blame Justice David Prosser if you want. Blame Justice Ann Walsh Bradley. Blame Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson for certain. But Roggensack ... no way.
A couple of days before the Primary election, Justice Bradley issued a written opinion that gratuitously attacked Justice Roggensack's credibility.
Given the significant questions surrounding the accuracy of Justice Bradley's description of the 2011 confrontation between her and Justice Prosser that is pointed to as a sign of "dysfunction" on the Court, Bradley is probably the last person who should be throwing stones about believability. Yet Justice Bradley appears unwilling to move past what everyone should agree was an unfortunate incident - with plenty of blame to go around (at least between her and Prosser).
I think it's difficult to view Justice Bradley's recent written opinion as anything other than a ham-handed and more than a little transparent effort to influence the Supreme Court race. Regardless of Justice Bradley's intent however, the results of the Primary show that - for now at least - any attempts to smear Justice Roggensack have been an epic fail.
In an effort to change the balance of the Court, liberal activists tried extremely hard for almost a year to recruit an A-List candidate to run against Justice Roggensack. Since Justice Roggensack is held in such generally high regard, no top tier candidate emerged. Instead, think D-List.
In any event, Justice Roggensack pulled in over 100,000 more votes than her two opponents combined. While I have no doubt that some will still try to slime her between now and the general election, there's no indication - at least so far - that these efforts will gain any traction.
And that's a good thing - because Pat Roggensack is precisely the type of jurist who belongs on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.