Newsmakers: Proposed Legislation for Appointing Supreme Court Justices
In a Newsmakers interview on July 5, two former Senate majority leaders — Republican Sen. Dale Schultz and Democratic Sen. Tim Cullen — said it’s time to let governors appoint Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges. They are sponsoring a constitutional amendment, which could not become law for three or four years, that would end the more than 150-year-old practice of Wisconsin voters statewide electing Supreme Court justices. Under their plan, which they hope can get initial approval by the Legislature this fall, governors would choose a Supreme Court justice from a list of candidates recommended by a non-partisan selection committee. Schultz and Cullen said past Supreme Court elections, which have cost more than $6 million each, force the justices to side with groups who helped elect them. They also said the current bitter 4-3 split on the Supreme Court illustrates why their change is needed.