Editorial Fears Partisanship in Filling WI Court Vacancy

1384929876151.cachedGov. Scott Walker “is positioned to further tip the balance within the judicial branch” by appointing “a reckless partisan” to fill a vacancy, a Madison.com editorial says.

The editorial argues for reforms to maintain impartial courts that include public financing of judicial elections and removal of a governor’s authority to appoint Supreme Court justices.

As an alternative route to avoid partisanship, four groups recently urged Walker not to appoint one of three declared candidates for the court next year to fill the vacancy (see Gavel Grab). Naming one of the candidates now would would “exacerbate the shrill partisan and mean-spirited tone for the upcoming election,” the groups said.

To learn other views about merit-based systems for choosing judges, in which a bipartisan commission puts a slate of candidates before a governor for appointment, see the Justice at Stake website. Twenty-four states use these bipartisan commissions to help choose state supreme court justices.