MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court could have a new chief justice soon, after a federal judge on Tuesday refused to block a voter-approved change in how the head of the court is selected.
Current Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson filed the federal lawsuit one day after voters on April 7 approved the constitutional amendment changing the selection process. U.S. District Judge James Peterson on Tuesday refused to block the law's implementation while Abrahamson's lawsuit is pending, saying there would be no irreparable harm if she were temporarily removed from the post she's held since 1996.
The amendment allows the seven justices on the court to choose who is chief justice, changing the 126-year practice of having it go to the most senior justice. The four-justice conservative majority is expected to vote Abrahamson out after the state elections board certifies the vote on April 29.