FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 22, 2015
CONTACT REPRESENTATIVE MIKE ROHRKASTE (608)-266-5719
Rep. Rohrkaste Approves Constitutional Amendment on Election of Chief Justice
Madison…Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah) issued the following statement today after he voted to approve a proposed amendment to the State Constitution allowing state Supreme Court justices to elect their chief justice for a two-year term:
“I believe this is a more democratic approach to the selection process and that the justices should be able to choose the best of their peers to lead them. In the legislature, this system is successful and it would be appropriate to have the same leadership selection process for the Supreme Court,” said Rohrkaste.
In Wisconsin, currently, seniority is the only criteria used to determine the Chief Justice. A 2011 poll by 20/20 Insight Polling showed that 62 percent of people were in favor of electing a chief justice.
“This first step puts the decision for an important role in the hands of the justices,” said Rep. Rohrkaste. “People in my district and throughout the state know that the best way to choose your leaders is through the democratic process, not by having them arbitrarily selected. In the end, the voters will make the final decision on this amendment, and I am confident that they will choose in favor of election.”
In order to amend the state constitution, two subsequent legislature must pass the same resolution and voters must approve the change in a statewide referendum.