Several groups have called the recent Supreme Court race one of the most negative campaigns in state history. As a result, one lawmaker is calling for a change in how we select our judges.
The race between Justice Louis Butler and Michael Gableman saw special interest groups spending millions of dollars on attack ads. State Representative Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee) predicts the trend will only grow worse, because the courts have ruled those groups can not be regulated.
The former judge is offering a Constitutional Amendment to change how Justices make it to the high court. He wants the Governor offer a nominee, which would then be confirmed to a ten year term by a majority vote in the Senate. After their first term, a Justice would need to be re-confirmed by at least 13 members of the Senate. Kessler says it would end the perception that groups can buy a seat on the Supreme Court.
Kessler says the solution is better than a public financing system that lawmakers declined to act on last session. He says the inability to control special interest spending makes all other financing issues insignificant.
The proposal received a cool response on the campaign trail by both candidates to the high court. Both argued it was better to let the people have a say in the selection process.