A New Chapter Awaits Wisconsin Supreme Court as Justice Bradley Steps Down

 April 12, 2024

A seismic shift is on the horizon for Wisconsin's highest court.

Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley's retirement in July 2025 sets the stage for a significant election that could shape the court's ideological direction. This forthcoming vote is pivotal in determining the court's future stance.

Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, a stalwart of the liberal faction on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, has been a fixture since 1995. Her tenure has seen the court sway through various ideological epochs, eventually landing in the hands of liberal justices with the election of Janet Protasiewicz in 2023.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Bradley's announcement dispels the route of early resignation, which could have allowed Democratic Governor Tony Evers to appoint a successor, thus potentially skewing the court's balance ahead of the next election.

By choosing to remain until her term concludes, she underscores a dedication to her role and the court's independence. This decision accentuates the stakes of the upcoming 2025 election, attracting attention from multiple candidates.

Ann Walsh Bradley expressed her thoughts on stepping down:

My decision has not come lightly. It is made after careful consideration and reflection. I know I can do the job and do it well. I know I can win re-election, should I run. But, it's just time to pass the torch, bring fresh perspectives to the court.

Justice Bradley's Legacy and the Fight Ahead

The race for her seat is heating up, with figures from both sides of the aisle showing keen interest. Among them is Brad Schimel, a Republican, underscoring the bipartisan battle ahead.

On the other side, Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge Chris Taylor and Dane County Circuit Judge Susan Crawford, both with rich legal and judicial backgrounds, are considering entries into the fray, signaling the importance of the seat for the court's liberal faction.

Dane County Circuit Judge Susan Crawford articulated her respect for Bradley and her contemplation of a bid:

Today, I’m focused on appreciating the long service of Justice Ann Walsh Bradley and thanking her for her dedication to justice and the people of Wisconsin. I appreciate the encouragement I’m receiving to consider running for the Supreme Court, and will have more to say about that in the coming weeks.

The departure of Walsh Bradley represents not just a loss of a liberal luminary but also immense institutional knowledge accrued over three decades. This highlights the monumental task awaiting her successor in preserving the court's integrity and balance. The election of Bradley's successor will not only shape the ideological bent of the Wisconsin Supreme Court but also set a precedent for judicial elections in a politically polarized era.

The Road Ahead: A Test for Wisconsin's Judicial Independence

Among those watching this unfolding story is former Justice Janine Geske, who offered insights on the implications of Bradley's decision and the dynamic it introduces to the court. She acknowledged the mixed outcomes of such transitions, emphasizing the potential for fresh perspectives and challenging incumbencies.

As 2025 nears, all eyes will remain on Wisconsin. The election to fill Justice Ann Walsh Bradley's seat is more than a contest for a position; it's a pivotal battle for the ideological soul of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Candidates from both parties are lining up, understanding the significance of this juncture.

Wisconsin’s electorate stands at a crossroads. Their decision in 2025 will resonate through the state’s judicial corridors for years to come. This moment is not just about filling a vacancy; it's about shaping the future of justice in Wisconsin.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

Top Articles



Receive information on new articles posted, important topics and tips.
Join Now
We won't send you spam. 
Unsubscribe at any time.

Recent Articles

Recent Analysis

Copyright © 2024 - CapitalismInstitute.org
A Project of Connell Media.