July 1, 2013 – A State Bar of Wisconsin committee presented a preliminary report to the State Bar's Board of Governors in June that would significantly change the term of office for Wisconsin Supreme Court justices.
The Presidential Committee, known as the Judicial Task Force, was appointed 18 months ago by then-President Jim Brennan and presented its recommendation of a constitutional amendment that would create a single 16-year term for an elected state supreme court justice.
The committee, chaired by former Outagamie County Judge Joe Troy, asked to present its findings at the June Board of Governor’s meeting to start the process of getting input from the public, policy makers and attorneys. Judge Troy acknowledged the seriousness of amending the state constitution and the difficulties it may pose, but felt that, after 18 months of study, this was the best option for Wisconsin.
Cale Battles is a government relations coordinator with the State Bar of Wisconsin. He can be reached at org cbattles wisbar wisbar cbattles org, or by phone at (608) 250-6077.
State Bar President Patrick Fiedler, also a former Dane County Judge, appreciated the committee’s hard work and deliberate thought process.
“Attorneys and the State Bar as an organization should be participating in discussions on what is best for our state’s justice system,” Fiedler said. “This is an important dialogue on an important topic that will affect the future structure of our judicial system.”
Fiedler pointed out that the committee’s recommendation will continue to be discussed and debated by State Bar Board during future meetings. No action was taken on the proposal by the Board in June.
“The process for consideration is just starting,” Fiedler said. “It will be very important to get input from our members and members of the general public.”
Other members of the committee chaired by Judge Troy include Attorney Tom Shriner, Attorney Catherine Rottier and Attorney Christine Bremer-Muggli.