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Contact Us Home June 25, 2016
"With business and interest groups pouring more and more money into state judicial elections ... the public can't be faulted for concluding that donors are getting what they pay for, namely favorable treatment from judges who are supposed to be impartial."
Tony Mauro, USA Today opinion column
 

Wisconsin News and Press Releases

April 1, 2016

Reporting in Wisconsin, the AP tracked TV ad spending nearing $2.7 million in the state Supreme Court race and quoted Justice at Stake about the dangers of costly, politicized judicial elections. See Gavel Grab for more. 

February 3, 2016

Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice turned a spotlight on the so-called social welfare group buying TV ads in the Wisconsin Supreme Court primary. See Gavel Grab for details.  

January 11, 2016

When Wisconsin elects a new state Supreme Court justice this year, expect to see continuation of a trend for big “dark money” spending on issue advertising, said a Racine Journal Times article, quoting JAS. Learn more from Gavel Grab

June 15, 2015

“Justice Abrahamson, you are out of order,” Chief Justice Pat Roggensack of the Wisconsin Supreme Court told her predecessor at a meeting to discuss court rules, as they disagreed over ordering topics for the agenda. Gavel Grab has more. 

May 11, 2015

Wisconsin’s courts have been dragged into the “take-no-prisoners feud” of partisan political brawling in the state and nation, JAS Executive Director Bert Brandenburg says in a National Law Journal essay. See details at Gavel Grab.

May 7, 2015

A New Yorker article decried the influence of “money-fuelled and often nasty judicial elections” in reducing the Wisconsin Supreme Court from a highly respected tribunal “into a disgraceful mess.” Read Gavel Grab for more.

April 10, 2015

A day after voter passage of a referendum to change the way the Wisconsin Chief Justice is selected, sitting Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to hold on to her post. Read Gavel Grab for more. 

April 3, 2015

A group backed by the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce is  easily outspending one of its rivals, a group backed by the Greater Wisconsin Committee, in a last-minute TV ad contest over a ballot initiative that would likely dislodge state Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson from her position as Chief Justice, according to an analysis by Justice at Stake.

April 2, 2015

Wisconsin residents will soon see TV ads supporting a ballot measure, Question 1, paid for with the help of a pro-big business group well-known for high spending in judicial elections. Gavel Grab has details. 

April 1, 2015

With less than a week to go, spending on TV ad contracts in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race has reached more than $612,000, JAS and the Brennan Center for Justice reported. Visit Gavel Grab for more.  

March 31, 2015

A proposed constitutional amendment to change the way the Wisconsin Chief Justice is selected will be the target of advertising for and against it, according to news reports. Find out more from Gavel Grab.

March 27, 2015

A recusal motion before the Wisconsin Supreme Court shows how “a rising tide of money in state judicial races is creating potential conflicts for judges who sit on cases involving donors,” the New York Times reported. Gavel Grab has details. 

March 23, 2015

Several groups declared their opposition to a referendum to change how the Wisconsin Chief Justice is selected, and JAS Executive Director Bert Brandenburg condemned the proposal as "pure political hardball." For more, visit Gavel Grab

March 19, 2015

Historic big spenders in Wisconsin Supreme Court elections have yet to open their checkbooks for TV ads in this year's contest, JAS said on Thursday, while reporting TV ad contracts totaling over $145,000 so far. Learn more from Gavel Grab

March 10, 2015

A “fiasco” playing out in the Wisconsin Supreme Court leaves no doubt as to the “toxic effects of outsize spending in judicial elections,” the New York Times declared in an editorial. Gavel Grab has details. 

February 20, 2015

A special prosecutor's request for recusal by one or more Wisconsin Supreme Court justices shows the "bitter harvest" of electing judges, JAS said in a letter to the editor of a Wisconsin newspaper. For more, see Gavel Grab.  

February 17, 2015
The special prosecutor leading a state campaign finance investigation has asked one or more Wisconsin Supreme Court justices to step aside from hearing challenges to the probe. For more, visit Gavel Grab
January 26, 2015

An effort to change the procedure for picking Wisconsin’s chief justice is portrayed as partisan payback and an attempt to thoroughly politicize the state Supreme Court. Learn more from Gavel Grab.

January 23, 2015

A push in Wisconsin’s legislature to change the traditional method of selecting the state Supreme Court’s Chief Justice amounts to partisan “payback,” Justice at Stake said. Find out more from Gavel Grab

December 3, 2014

Is a planned mandatory judicial retirement age bill a stealth ploy to force 80-year-old Wisconsin Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson to retire? Find out more from Gavel Grab.

September 29, 2014

A controversy swirling around several Wisconsin Supreme Court justices is the “bitter harvest” of a big-spending system of judicial elections, Justice at Stake Executive Director Bert Brandenburg warned. Read Gavel Grab for more.

September 26, 2014

A debate in Wisconsin over whether state Supreme Court justices should hear a case involving a top spender on behalf of several of their campaigns illustrates the need for judicial selection reform

October 22, 2013

Wisconsin Supreme Court justices tend to side with litigants whose attorneys have given the judges campaign donations, according to a report by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Gavel Grab has details.  

July 29, 2013

Earlier this month the State Bar of Wisconsin proposed a constitutional amendment that would limit state Supreme Court justices to one 16-year term to replace the current 10-year term with the chance for reelection. This, they said, would help cut down on the bitter partisanship that has defined the court in the public eye and stem the rivers of cash flowing into high-court elections.

July 25, 2013

More than $3 million was spent on this year’s elections for the Wisconsin Supreme Court and state superintendent. The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign released its analysis of spending on the two races Thursday. Candidates and outside groups spent more than $2.2 million on the Supreme Court race in which Justice Pat Roggensack defeated Marquette University law professor Ed Fallone.

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