Roggensack for Justice
The seemingly never ending cycle of Wisconsin elections comes to an end Tuesday (at least for a bit). While reasonable people can perhaps disagree about who was the better candidate in some of the various elections over the past two and one half years, the choice in this year's State Supreme Court race is clear.
Justice Pat Roggensack should be re-elected in a landslide at least as large as her victory in the Primary.
Justice Roggensack is one of Wisconsin brightest legal lights. She has over 17 years of experience on the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Her integrity and legal acumen is unimpeachable. In short, she is precisely the type of jurist that the Wisconsin Supreme Court needs.
Originally, some on the far Left of the political spectrum hoped to unseat Justice Roggensack. The thinking was that if they could defeat Justice Roggensack, a judicial conservative, maybe they could use the Court to do what the Left couldn't do through the ballot box - namely, undermine portions of Governor Walker's agenda.
A number of high profile challengers considered making the race but declined partly in deference to the high regard with which Justice Roggensack is held. The result is that no A-list candidates emerged. Actually you can make a case that no B or C-list candidates emerged either.
Justice Roggensack's challenger has no legislative experience, no prosecutorial experience, no experience as a circuit court judge and no experience on any appellate court. His major argument for replacing Justice Roggensack is that the Supreme Court is "dysfunctional" and that his election would help improve relationships among the Justices.
Funny. I don't hear too many people claiming that they don't get along with Justice Roggensack?
Moreover, if the ability to get along was the most important factor, perhaps Roggensack's challenger should have run against some of the more divisive figures on the Court - like either of the two Justices involved in a physical confrontation almost two years ago or perhaps the Chief Justice.
While you never want to take anything for granted, the anti-Roggensack campaign doesn't seem to have gained too much traction. That's good. A loss by Justice Roggensack would probably make me rethink my support for our system of electing judges.
As an aside, I've been extremely disappointed in what I believe to be ham-handed attempts of Justice Ann Walsh Bradley to meddle in this race both before the primary and the general election. I like Justice Bradley personally and have always respected her (while often disagreeing with her reasoning in some cases).
In my mind, it is in the interest of all the members of the Court to move beyond the unfortunate 2011 confrontation between Justice Bradley and Justice David Prosser. As I've argued for two years now, there's a lot of blame to be shared between both of these individuals.
Still, rather than moving on, Justice Bradley appears to be doing her best Captain Queeg imitation channeling Humphrey Bogart in "The Caine Mutiny". Instead of juggling marbles and mumbling about missing strawberries though, Justice Bradley appears to be unable to stop complaining about Justice Prosser and taking gratuitous shots against some of her colleagues, including Justice Roggensack.
Regardless, some choices are difficult, some are easy.
A vote for Justice Roggensack is the easy choice and the correct one!