The commercial made it sound like a change in Wisconsin’s State Constitution would provide for a democratically elected Supreme Court Chief Justice. In reality it would reduce the number of people selecting the Chief Justice from 3.5 million voters to the seven current members of the State’s Supreme Court.
Currently, the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court is the Justice who has served the longest on the court. Since the justices are elected to the court for a (10 year) limited term, the only way one can become Chief Justice is by being consistently endorsed by the eligible voters of the State. If the Wisconsin S
tate Constitution is changed on April 7th the seven standing justices will elect a chief Justice for a two year term. This would allow for much greater volatility of the Court and much greater influence by the special interest groups that have spent so heavily on recent elections.
I don’t always think the electorate is as informed as it could be but I firmly believe a pool of 3.5 million voters is more likely to be representative of the citizens of Wisconsin than seven. I’ll be voting “No” on April 7 to changing the State Constitution.
To see the ballot question go to ballot item.