A federal judge has rejected a request to keep the state Supreme Court from electing a new chief justice. Following a hearing in federal court in Madison Friday, U.S. District Judge James Peterson denied a request from Justice Shirley Abrahamson to temporarily block members of the court from voting on someone to replace her as chief justice.
That vote already took place last month, when the four conservative members picked Justice Pat Roggensack to fill the position. Abrahamson sought to reverse the leadership change though, while her lawsuit challenging the constitutional amendment that made it possible makes its way through the court system.
The amendment, approved by voters this spring, allows the court to pick the chief justice…instead of having the member with the most seniority fill that role. Abrahamson has argued that it should not take effect until her current term ends in 2019.