Wisconsin Supreme Court Should Adopt Stronger Recusal Rules

The Brennan Center supported a petition, signed by 54 former members of the Wisconsin judiciary, urging the state supreme court to adopt new standards for how judges step aside in cases where they benefit from campaign contributions.

March 15, 2017

The Brennan Center for Justice submitted a letter today supporting a petition, signed by 54 former members of the Wisconsin judiciary, urging the state's supreme court justices to adopt a rule establishing an objective standard for recusal when a judge has benefited from campaign contributions or independent expenditures from a party or lawyer.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court was scheduled to consider the petition at an open conference on Thursday, March 16, 2017. But it was removed from the agenda.

The Center's comments explain how the recusal proposal mitigates the risks to judicial integrity that occur when lawyers and litigants provide financial support to judicial candidates in their elections. "The former judges' petition presents the Wisconsin court with an opportunity to bolster public faith in the integrity of the Wisconsin judiciary at a critical moment," the letter reads.

Download the letter here.

Brennan Center Comments Supporting Wisconsin Recusal Petition by The Brennan Center for Justice on Scribd