Pivotal Supreme Court Election:
April 5, 2011
Compiled by Jessica Walworth
Voters help determine the direction of Wisconsin Tuesday, April 5, in a pivotal election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Justice Prosser and Assistant Attorney General Kloppenburg face each other on a ballot to determine the political course of Wisconsin. The Supreme Court currently, with incumbent Justice Prosser, holds a 4-3 conservative majority. The victor on April 5 will determine if the court maintains a conservative leaning or dramatically shifts to a progressive majority.
Incumbent Justice David Prosser has been an elected Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court since 1998. He has also served as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly and as the District Attorney of Outagamie County. Prosser graduated from DePauw University and the University of Wisconsin Law School.
The challenger, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, has served in Wisconsin’s Justice Department since 1989. Kloppenburg, most recently, was supervisor of the Justice Department’s Environmental Protection Division. In addition, Kloppenburg has served as a federal law clerk and as an intern for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson. Kloppenburg graduated from Yale University, Princeton University, and the University of Wisconsin Law School.
The Wisconsin Family Council, a non-partisan organization, has compiled a comparison of the philosophy and endorsements of the two candidates:
“Supreme Court Justices should not act as advocates for any cause or group nor as legislators. Rather Wisconsin residents deserve to have confidence that judges are impartial and independent decision-makers who apply the law fairly and clearly based on facts.” According to the Wausau Daily Herald, “Kloppenburg has long supported Democrats financially and the campaign makes no secret of the fact she, during law school, interned for the liberal stalwart, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson”
Madison Mayor Cieslewicz
State Rep. Fred Kessler (D)
“I present myself as a judicial conservative, devoted to the constitution and the rule of law. My job is to find the law and apply it properly, not to make it up to advance some ideological objective.” According to the Wausau Daily Herald, “Prosser describes himself as both nonpartisan and in the middle of the court. According to an analysis by the Wisconsin Law Journal, he is, in fact, a much less predictable vote than other justices typically described as being on the conservative side.”Endorsements:
Wisconsin Right to Life
Milwaukee Police Association
State Senate Majority leader Scott Fitzgerald (R)
The View of CCMC:
Given the conservative judicial philosophy that has been demonstrated and articulated by Justice Prosser, CCMC believes that the re-election of Justice Prosser is in the best interests of Wisconsin citizens. We encourage every Wisconsin citizen to determine to vote on Tuesday, April 5.
A comparison of the two candidates:
The official JoAnne Kloppenburg website:
The official David Prosser website:
An endorsement by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel