Press Release: News Release June 2003: Reserve Judge Panel Assigned to Hear Salary Case:

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    News Release June 2003: Reserve Judge Panel Assigned to Hear Salary Case

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    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 order).

    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.