Jan 18 2013
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial urges Wisconsinites to join more than half of U.S. states by reforming their Supreme Court judicial selection process to avoid the inherent harms in the current judicial election system.
Citing “a series of poisonous contests” as contributing to a lowered reputation of the court, the Sentinel predicts that the upcoming race could be equally contentious, prompting outside interest groups to weigh in, with “big money pouring into this race from both
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, in the previous Wisconsin Supreme Court race, special interest spending reached new records when outside groups spent more than $3.5 million on television ads alone.
In this race, Justice Patience Roggensack is up for election for a second term. Justice Roggensack will face law professor Ed Fallone as well as attorney Vince Megna in an upcoming primary. With the court likely hearing highly controversial cases in the near future, the editorial predicts, “Whatever is in the heart of the candidates, they will be pegged by the outside interests, which may spend millions of dollars to
ensure that their interests are served.”
Facing such a potentially contentious race, the editorial states, “We think there is a better way.”
With similar issues facing Pennsylvania in the 2013 election year, both Wisconsinites and Pennsylvanians must continue to fight for a better way to select judges. Judicial selection should not be sold to the highest bidder, but rather a result of thoughtful selection process based on qualifications. The time for merit selection is now.