On April 2, incumbent Justice Patience Roggensack will face Marquette Law professor Ed Fallone for her chance to win another 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. While it may not ignite the same political passions as the 2011 Prosser-Kloppenburg race, the 2013 contest is critical to determining the balance of power on the high court.
Roggensack is generally considered pro-business, as evidenced by the Wisconsin Civil Justice Council’s 2013 Guide to the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Judicial Evaluation, wherein she received the highest score . “My philosophy is constrained by the Wisconsin Constitution,” she said. “I try very hard to operate under the confines that the constitution sets for me.”
Fallone, who has drawn support from Democratic leaders and labor unions, said he believes cases should be dealt with one at a time as they come along, rather than considered under sweeping generalizations. “I absolutely reject any sort of overarching theories of the law,” Fallone said.
Whichever candidate wins, they will be the fourth vote that determines if the court is typically more restrained or progressive in its decision-making.
Though their dissimilar philosophies are the key difference between the candidates, that distinction is not what is being highlighted by the media, or by the candidates themselves in their ads.
Roggensack is running on her judicial experience. She is the only justice ever to have previously served at the appellate level. Fallone is focusing on the perception that the court is dysfunctional and arguing he would help restore public respect for the court.
Election Day is Tuesday, April 2nd. Learn about registering to vote, check your registration status, and confirm your polling place on this government website: https://myvote.wi.gov/
In Wisconsin registered voters can vote by absentee ballot, either by mail or in person at your local municipal clerk’s office weekdays from now through Friday, March 29th. Additional information on absentee voting is available on this government website: http://gab.wi.gov/voters/absentee