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Wisconsin’s constitution says: “The chief justice of the Supreme Court shall be the administrative head of the judicial system and shall exercise this administrative authority,” but adds “pursuant to procedures adopted by the Supreme Court.”
The chief justice’s role as court administrator was challenged when the court’s liberal majority voted Aug. 4, 2023, to create an administrative committee comprising the chief justice and two members selected by the majority.
Liberals gained a 4-3 majority three days earlier with the swearing in of Janet Protasiewicz who was elected in April.
Chief Justice Annette Ziegler, a conservative, called the majority “rogue.” She said their vote was “illegitimate” and “gut(ted)” the chief justice’s authority over internal court procedures and rules.
Justice Rebecca Dallet said the majority properly scheduled the meeting where the vote was taken after Ziegler declined requests to schedule a meeting. Dallet said the change makes procedural decision-making more inclusive.
This fact brief, originally published by Wisconsin Watch, is responsive to conversations such as this one.
Milwaukee Press Club (21:20) Newsmaker Luncheon with former Gov. Scott Walker
Wisconsin State Legislature Wisconsin Constitution