Aren’t Justices Supposed to “Look Out” for the Law?

  • What is the role of a state supreme court justice?

Is it to properly interpret the constitutionality of laws passed by the Wisconsin legislature or is it to be a force to ‘push back’ against what he or she feels is the majority of the court?

Madison area attorney and Wisconsin State Supreme Court candidate Tim Burns clearly believes it is his role to be the latter. Burns wasted little time stating his intentions to be “a progressive” on the court; making his case more than known in a press release which reacted to the news that Sauk County Circuit Judge Michael Screnock had received the endorsements of a number of sitting or retired state supreme court justices.

“It is time to elect a justice who is not part of the conservative judge club on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. It’s time to elect a justice who is progressive and will look out for working people, not just the wealthy and the well connected.

When I was young our courts were the great equalizer. They made sure that everybody got a fair shot. Now our courts have become the tools of special interests and their efforts to obtain opportunities for themselves. It has to stop.”

Endorsing Screnock were Justices Michael Gableman, Rebecca Bradley, and Daniel Kelly; as well as retired Justices David Prosser and Jon Wilcox.

Throughout the campaign, Burns has made little secret he will be an liberal ideologue if he were to get on the state’s highest court. Earlier in the summer he wasted little time telling voters how he’d rule during a judicial candidate’s forum with his other opponent, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Rebecca Dallet.

All three candidates will face in a nonpartisan primary on February 20, 2018. The top two finishers will then face off on April 3 in the general election.

The victor will serve a ten-year term as Wisconsin’s newest state supreme court justice.