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Groups Urge Walker Not To Appoint Declared Supreme Court Candidates

Interim Posting Will Help Avoid Partisanship In 2016 Election, Letter Says

Wisconsin Supreme Court
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A coalition of groups has asked Gov. Scott Walker to appoint a temporary officeholder to fill Wisconsin’s vacant Supreme Court seat.

Justice Patrick Crooks died last week, leaving one seat vacant on the seven-member court.

It would be unusual for a governor to appoint a justice who has no intention of seeking election, although the circumstances involving Crooks’ seat are somewhat out of the ordinary. Three candidates had already announced they were running for Crooks’ seat before he died, and the regularly-scheduled election is right around the corner in April.

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Given that timing, Jay Heck of the group Common Cause said Walker should appoint someone who’s not running for the court to serve on an interim basis.

“I think the state would be better served to have someone who’s not a current candidate that’s going to make that hyper-partisanship come to the top sooner rather than later,” Heck said.

The request came in a letter to Walker from Common Cause in Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and Wisconsin Voices.

Walker has not said what his plans are, but he announced Monday that he is seeking applicants for the opening. In the announcement, Walker’s office said that the new appointee, “should he or she choose to run, would be up for election in April 2016.”