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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chief Justice Endorsement

Shirley Abrahamson Has Earned Another Term

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Perhaps the easiest and most satisfying vote on April 7 is the one cast for Supreme Court of Wisconsin Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

We could list all of her accomplishments here, starting with Abrahamson’s appointment to the state Supreme Court, a first for women in this state, all the way through her national recognition as a leader on judicial issues.

But Abrahamson is familiar to voters around Wisconsin, since she has already run three statewide campaigns and is concluding her fourth. And she’s traveled the state nonstop as chief justice, speaking to schoolchildren, working with local law enforcement agencies and concerned citizens, and even hearing Supreme Court arguments in cities other than Madison. Abrahamson has made the judicial system more accessible to regular folks, and she’ll continue those efforts in her next term.

She has earned broad support from across the political spectrum, including endorsements from six law enforcement organizations, more than 30 sheriffs, over 40 district attorneys, more than 100 police chiefs and hundreds of judges from around the state.

Abrahamson’s written opinions are not ideological, but are well-considered opinions based on the constitution of the state of Wisconsin. Some have accused her of writing controversial judicial opinions, but if you read them you’ll find that Abrahamson’s insights are top-notch. You may not always agree with them, but at least you know that a first-rate mind has considered them in depth and come to a logical, constitutionally sound conclusion. The bottom line is that the opinions are fair.

What’s more, Abrahamson has conducted herself with fitting dignity on the campaign trail. Unlike certain candidates in the last two races for the state Supreme Court, Abrahamson has consistently chosen to take the high road and stress her record. She does not spend her time trying to distort her opponent’s record or the work of the court system and its judges, or play on voters’ worst fears. Unfortunately, Abrahamson’s challenger, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Randy Koschnick, has chosen to do just that. His campaign tactics have been a disgrace and not befitting a race for our state’s highest court.

Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson is a state treasure. Wisconsin voters should reward her solid work for the public good by voting enthusiastically for Abrahamson’s next term on the court.

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