New WI Chief Justice Tells Predecessor She’s ‘Out of Order’

Chief Justice Roggensack (left) and Justice Abrahamson (right)
Chief Justice Roggensack (left) and Justice Abrahamson (right)

“Justice Abrahamson, you are out of order,” Chief Justice Pat Roggensack of the Wisconsin Supreme Court told her predecessor at a meeting on Wednesday to discuss court rules, as they disagreed over the sequence of topics for the session’s agenda.

It was another sign of the tensions that persist on the fractured court, where Justice Shirley Abrahamson has gone to federal court to challenge the way a voter-approved constitutional amendment was implemented to remove her recently from the chief justice post. “Roggensack spars with former Wisconsin Supreme Court chief justice Abrahamson in meeting,” the Associated Press reported.

There is continuing debate over who’s right and who’s out of line. Legal News Line reported, “Law professor: Wis. SC justice’s lawsuit over chief justice title doesn’t help already ‘dysfunctional’ court.” A Madison.com editorial criticized the new chief justice, and it was headlined, “Roggensack’s folly.”