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Wisconsin chief justice selection process subject of GOP reform move

Nov. 3, 2013
 
Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson has served on the state Surpreme Court for 37 years, 17 of them as chief justice. A Republican-backed constitutional amendment seeks to change the way the court chooses its chief justice.
Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson has served on the state Surpreme Court for 37 years, 17 of them as chief justice. A Republican-backed constitutional amendment seeks to change the way the court chooses its chief justice. / Associated Press

MADISON — Itís the purest form of democracy.

Or itís a partisan, political attack on the head of the stateís highest court.

Those opinions outline the spectrum of reaction to a Republican-backed constitutional amendment moving quickly through the state Legislature that would change the way the Wisconsin Supreme Court has chosen its chief justice for nearly 125 years.

The twin resolutions were introduced Oct. 22 in the Senate and Assembly. Both had public hearings and were approved on party-line votes in committee. They now face final votes in the Senate and Assembly as early as this week.

It is at least the second run at amending the constitution to allow the courtís seven justices to choose their own chief, who also runs the state court system. Last session, a similar proposal was defeated on a technicality on the Assembly floor and its companion failed to advance in the Senate.

Read the complete story at Madison.com.

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