With less than two weeks to go before the primary, the three candidates vying for an open seat on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court are offering differing takes on how justices should approach the job.
Milwaukee County Judge Rebecca Dallet, Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock, and Madison attorney Tim Burns were in Madison Wednesday to address members of the Wisconsin Counties Association. Each offered a brief description of how they would approach the position.
Dallet argued that the public distrusts the court because of the partisan politics that have influenced recent judicial elections, and the refusal of some justices to recuse themselves from cases involving groups that have spent money on campaigns. “We have a Supreme Court that has lost the confidence that our state needs, that our public needs, in its ability to do justice for all of us,” she said.
Screnock, who has the backing of many conservatives, said voters deserve to have justices that are independent and have an unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law and following the constitution. He said he would be a justice who can “decide cases based solely on the law as I find it, not based on what I wished the law was.”
Burns, who has been actively campaigning with references to his more liberal views, said he believes the public knows justices have their own views, and honesty is the best approach. “They want someone who will be utterly candid with them about what they believe, whether they like those beliefs or not,” he said. “They want someone to be straight with them.”
The three face each other in a primary on February 20th, with the top two going on to the spring election in April.