At a hearing on Friday, U.S. District Judge James Peterson declined again to block Chief Justice Pat Roggensack of the Wisconsin Supreme Court from holding that title while Justice Shirley Abrahamson pursues litigation claiming title to the top job.
Judge Peterson said Justice Abrahamson’s lawyer had the “tougher argument” in the lawsuit, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and the judge said it is not to him to restore the Wisconsin court’s reputation as two justices square off over who is its leader.
“If there is to be a restoration of the confidence the public feels in the Supreme Court, it has to come from the court itself,” he said. The court’s conservative majority chose Justice Roggensack for the top job in an email vote after a voter-approved constitutional amendment, changing the selection method for the chief justice, was certified recently. Justice Abrahamson has contended the new process should not be implemented in the middle of her term.