State Supreme Court Chooses New Chief Justice

On April 14, a majority of the seven members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court voted to select Justice Annette Ziegler as the state’s next chief justice. She will assume the office on May 1. Justice Ziegler was first elected to the court in 2007 and ran unopposed in 2017. She is the court’s third longest-serving member. A press release from the court announcing the results of the vote did not indicate how each justice voted.

Current Chief Justice Patience Roggensack was first elected to the court in 2003 and as chief justice in 2015. She is not expected to seek reelection in 2023, when her current 10-year term expires. In addition to leading the state’s highest court, the chief justice serves as the administrative head of Wisconsin’s judicial system.

The members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court select the chief justice by majority vote every two years. This has been the case since April 2015, when Wisconsin voters approved a constitutional amendment to change how the chief justice is chosen. Before the amendment, the court’s longest-serving justice served as chief.

Following the vote, Justice Ziegler was quoted as saying, “I will do all I can to ensure the Wisconsin Supreme Court operates fairly and efficiently with a fidelity to the law. We will make the people of this great state proud of our professionalism and collegiality, even during our sometimes vigorous debates.”