Wisconsin Supreme Court

Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds GOP's Lame-Duck Laws

Jun 21, 2019

Wisconsin's conservative-controlled Supreme Court on Friday upheld lame-duck laws limiting the powers of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul, handing Republican lawmakers a resounding victory.

The victory was on procedural grounds only and the ruling isn't the end of the legal challenges. Two other challenges to the laws themselves and not the process used to pass them are pending. One of those is in federal court, a move that Democrats hope gives them a better shot at sidestepping conservative judges.

Updated on April 10 at 12:41 p.m. CT

Wisconsin Appeals Judge Lisa Neubauer, who was backed by Democrats, conceded Wednesday in the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court. Neubauer issued a statement, saying she called her opponent, conservative Appeals Judge Brian Hagedorn, and "wished him the best." 

On Tuesday, April 2, voters will choose a new justice to sit on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Appeals Judge Brian Hagedorn, who's supported by conservatives, and Appeals Judge Lisa Neubauer, who's supported by liberals, are competing for the 10-year term. 

>>View Wisconsin Supreme Court Election Results

On Tuesday, voters will decide which two candidates will serve a 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The race features Appeals Judge Lisa Neubauer, who is backed by liberals, and Appeals Judge Brian Hagedorn, whom conservatives support. The winner will replace Shirley Abrahamson, who's considered one of the court's liberal justices. She chose not to seek re-election, after more than 40 years on the bench.

On Tuesday, voters will go to the polls to cast ballots for Wisconsin Supreme Court. The race pits Appeals Judge Brian Hagedorn, who's backed by conservatives, against Appeals Judge Lisa Neubauer, who's backed by liberals.

The winner will serve a 10-year term, replacing Shirley Abrahamson, who's considered one of the court's liberal justices. Abrahamson chose not to seek re-election, after more than 40 years on the bench.

Maayan Silver

With the April 2 election less than a week away, the two Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates squared off in a heated, final debate Tuesday. 

Judges Lisa Neubauer and Brian Hagedorn are vying for the seat of outgoing liberal Justice Shirley Abrahamson. Whoever wins would be on the court for a 10-year term. The candidates — both currently state appeals court judges — highlighted what they said is a neutral judicial philosophy.

Marquette University, flickr


The Wisconsin Supreme Court sided with Marquette professor John McAdams in their ruling Friday, saying McAdams shouldn’t have been fired over his blog post that criticized a graduate student who he believed shut down debate against gay marriage.

The Court concluded that Marquette University breached its guarantee of academic freedom and McAdams should be reinstated immediately.


Fifty-four retired Wisconsin judges wanted the state's high court court to prohibit judges from hearing a case, if it involved their largest campaign contributors. The threshold would have ranged from $500 for a municipal judge to $10,000 for a Supreme Court justice. But on Thursday, the court majority rejected the retirees' petition, insisting such rules would violate the constitution and voters' decisions.

Have you noticed that you’re not seeing many ads for the upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court election? That’s because only one person is running – the incumbent. 

Conservative-leaning Justice Annette Ziegler has no challenger this spring – it means she’s virtually assured of another ten year term on the court.


Rebecca Bradley will be sworn-in Monday, to a new ten-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Voters elected her in April, after the governor had appointed her a few months earlier.

But there will be an even newer face on the court. Waukesha Attorney Daniel Kelly will succeed Justice David Prosser – who retired Sunday. The change retains the court’s conservative bent, 5-2. Some observers are pleased while others are concerned.

Gov. Walker touted Daniel Kelly’s credentials a few days ago, when appointing him to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Attorney Dan Kelly will replace retiring Justice David Prosser, as of August, and is expected to leave the court's 5-2 conservative majority intact.

According to the Associated Press, Kelly included in his application materials, his stated opposition to same-sex marriage and his belief that affirmative action is akin to slavery.

Kelly has defended the redistricting plan Wisconsin Republican legislators drew in 2011. One court found that the boundaries denied Milwaukee Latino voters of adequate representation and ordered the state to redraw two districts.


People have begun applying for the impending vacancy on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Justice David Prosser has announced plans to retire by the end of July. Gov. Walker may have a long list to choose from – along with plenty of advice.

The governor expects a mix of judges and attorneys to apply for the seat that Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser is leaving. Walker told WHBY Radio in Appleton that it will be, at least, a four-year job.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser is stepping down after nearly 18 years on the bench. Prosser announced his retirement Wednesday in a statement from the court.  He says his last day will be July 31.  Prosser is 73 and didn't give a reason for his retirement.  

Former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson appointed Prosser to the high court in 1998 and he's one of five conservative-leaning justices.  

  Justice Rebecca Bradley defeated challenger Joanne Kloppenburg at the polls Tuesday. With the victory, Bradley secured a 10-year term on the state's highest court.

Currently, Bradley is serving out the end of Patrick Crooks' term. He died last fall, and Gov. Scott Walker named Bradley to the post. Walker also appointed Bradley to two other judgeships since 2012, in Milwaukee County circuit court and the court of appeals.

Bradley's ties to Walker had some questioning whether she could be an independent jurist. At her victory party, Bradley shot down such concerns.

Justice Rebecca Bradley and Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg made clear during a debate Wednesday that the two candidates are very different from each other.

The Milwaukee debate began with opening statements from each candidate about why she is the best choice.

Justice Rebecca Bradley touted her judicial philosophy. “I am the first Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice to bring experience from both the trial court bench and the court of appeals bench,” she said.