Reserve Judge Panel Assigned to Hear Salary Case
Madison, Wis. (June 11) -- The Wisconsin Supreme
Court today refused
certification of an appeal that centers on whether appellate judges
may be paid more than the governor, and asked Chief Justice Shirley S.
Abrahamson to exercise her constitutional and statutory powers to assign
a panel of three reserve judges to serve temporarily in the Court of
Appeals to decide the appeal in Moran v. Wis. Dept. of Administration,
et al (98-3008). The chief justice had the panel randomly chosen (see
The reserve judges who will hear the appeal are: Hon. Paul C.
Gartzke, Hon. Daniel L. LaRocque and Hon. Michael T. Sullivan. All three
formerly served on the Court of Appeals. The judges will set a timetable
for conferencing and possibly hearing oral argument in the case.
The state Court of Appeals had certified the case to the Supreme
Court. The dispute began after a legislative committee in September 1998
set the new salary for the justices at $112,318. Instead of approving
those salaries, Bugher aides approved pay raises that took the justices'
salaries to $101,859, or $2 less than what Thompson earns. Director of
State Courts J. Denis Moran then filed a lawsuit in December 1998 in
Dane County Circuit Court against Jon Litscher, secretary of the state
Department of Employment Relations, and Mark Bugher, secretary of the
State Department of Administration, seeking the full pay raises. Moran
prevailed in the circuit court.