February 15 is Primary Election Day in Wisconsin. There is one statewide race on the ballot; that is for justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Four candidates will be narrowed down to two who will square off in April competing for a 10 year term.
The race is non-partisan, but news reports detailing experience and background of the candidates provides some insights.
The information below came from the League of Women Voters website where you will find additional Q&A on a variety of topics. Candidate websites are linked to their names.
JoAnne F. Kloppenburg
I’ve been a litigator and prosecutor at Wisconsin’s Department of Justice since 1989, serving under Attorneys General from both parties. My legal experience includes constitutional, appellate, civil litigation, environmental prosecution, administrative and some criminal law. I’ve argued numerous cases in circuit courts, the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Wisconsin Court of Appeals. I graduated with honors from UW Law School (1988), Yale (BA 1974), Princeton (MA 1976). I was a law clerk for Chief Judge Barbara Crabb, and interned for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson. I’ve taught at the UW Law School since 1990 and volunteered in many legal and community venues.
David T. Prosser, Jr.
My 12 years as a Supreme Court Justice are my most obvious qualification. I have written 132 majority opinions and participated in 900 published decisions. Eighteen former state bar presidents and many judges have endorsed me based on my performance. No other candidate has judicial experience. In addition, I have worked at all levels of government and in all three branches of government: law teacher (UW, IUPUI); staff attorney, Office of Criminal Justice; administrative assistant to Congressman; elected district attorney; 18 years in Wisconsin State Assembly; Assembly Speaker; Tax Appeals Commissioner; Uniform Laws Commissioner. This breadth of experience is unprecedented.
I graduated Marquette Law School in 1981. I have represented people in the Wisconsin trial courts, courts of appeal and Supreme Court my entire career. I am the Appellate Division Director for the State Public Defender, the agency responsible for delivering legal services to the indigent in 72 counties. I served ten years as chair of the Wisconsin Judicial Council, which studies and makes recommendations to improve the court system. I held leadership positions with the State Bar of Wisconsin, including as a founding member of the Appellate Practice Section. I have authored articles on substantive and procedural law.
I am running to return independence and integrity to the Supreme Court. I have worked as an attorney for working people and small businesses for over thirty three years. I have used my law degree to fight for the rights of working people throughout Wisconsin. I have made the system work for those who had difficulty in achieving access to the justice system. I have been the lawyer for thousands of working families all over Wisconsin. I have handled the broadest variety of cases of any candidate in the race. I am the only candidate with significant private sector experience.